Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Beautiful Country
Beautiful Country: A Memoir of an Undocumented Childhood | Qian Julie Wang
'Hunger was a constant, reliable friend in Mei Guo. She came second only to loneliness.' In China she was the daughter of professors. In Brooklyn her family is illegal. Qian is just seven when she and her mother move to America, the 'Beautiful Country'. There they join her father, who fled his homeland after speaking out against the government. Unable to speak English, both Qian and her parents must work wherever they can to survive. Thus begins an extraordinary story that describes in vivid colours her time labouring in sweatshops, the days spent scavenging furniture, and the terrifying moment when the family emerges from the shadows to seek emergency medical treatment for Qian's mother. Qian Julie Wang's memoir is an unforgettable account of what it means to live under the perpetual threat of deportation. Told from a child's perspective, in a voice that is intimate, poignant and startlingly lyrical, Beautiful Country is the story of a girl who learns first to live - and then escape - an invisible life.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
blurb
Nute
post image

#LittleChristmasSwap
Yay! For this wonderful gift today! Thank you, Jessica! You selected the very book that I was hoping for and am so happy to receive. It‘s also fitting for the direction that I want to go regarding reading this year, more non-fiction, memoir and biography.

And the sweet surprise of so many hazelnut chocolates to try…oh, the joy!🤗

Many thanks to you, Amy, for hosting such a lovely swap. The timing of opening day is perfect❣️

ncsufoxes Glad that you like everything. Although my husband was a little jealous when I was boxing this up. He was like who are you boxing all those yummy treats up for (peanut m&ms are his favorite). This book is on my TBR too, I‘ve heard great things. 2w
Cathythoughts Lovely ❤️ 2w
Nute @ncsufoxes Have you seen the packaging for candy that states it is for “sharing” purposes? When I see the package size for the M&Ms with Peanuts, I always say to myself, ‘Are you kidding me? This bag needs to be at least 4 sizes larger with an equivalent increase in amount offered. Then we can SHARE!‘😆 Let‘s check in after we both read the book. Thanks for everything!😊💕 5d
94 likes4 comments
blurb
Nikki_E
post image

December 2021

review
Nikki_E
post image
Pickpick

Five stars. Might even be the best book I read this year. I highly recommend this, especially if you are also a fan of memoirs.

blurb
Nikki_E

I have so much to do, my kid is dying to play with me but I need to finish this.

blurb
Nikki_E

My latest read. Only 35 pages in and I‘m already fully immersed and invested.

megnews I love when that happens! 4w
33 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
MaggieCarr
post image
Pickpick

I have a family member whose primary language is Mandarin and I learned more about her culture and family expectations through reading Qian's work. I recognized words from my time with this family member and had I been able to make that connection prior to meeting Qian I would have loved to have shared that impact with her when meeting her at a conference a few months back.

review
MelKelsey
post image
Pickpick

Book 138

I listened to Beautiful Country, which was narrated by the author. A very well-done memoir about immigration to The United States and growing up in poverty. Highly recommend, and I hope the author will write more. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

review
cait_s
post image
Pickpick

5/5

review
marleed
post image
Pickpick

This is a heart wrenching memoir. There‘s a disconnect between the author and her story. It‘s at once off putting but then it makes sense. It‘s told not from the successful adult that Qian has become but from the undocumented child of which she evolved. A child who was taught to be as invisible as possible in order that she and her family might stay in this country.

review
Hana321
Pickpick

I think for anybody who is feeling sorry for their situation, you should read the life of Qian Wang. A 7 year old girl born in China, who makes a difficult journey with her mother and father. Settling in New York, life is not easy for 7 year old Qian as she and her family have to start over, giving up successful lives in China for a beggars lifestyle. The resilience of little Qian is nothing short of inspiring.

review
JenReadsAlot
post image
Mehso-so

I feel bad not giving this a pick, but I just didn't connect with this one. #bookspinbingo @TheAromaofBooks #NonfictionNovember

Leftcoastzen 😻 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3mo
31 likes2 comments
review
Lauren890
post image
Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This memoir was excellent - one of the best I‘ve read this year. It was gut wrenching and opened my eyes to a lot of experiences so different from my suburban midwestern upbringing. It‘s incredibly well written with such honesty. I highly recommend. I‘m sure it‘s also worth a re-read. The audiobook is fantastic.

21 likes1 stack add
review
Floresj
post image
Pickpick

I‘ll read everything by Qian Wang. That was a well written, loving, hear breaking memoir of her childhood as a Chinese immigrant in NYC and the fear of having an undocumented status. Highly, highly recommend. I loved every minute of it. And, I loved the repeated adoration of reading and public libraries❤️

20 likes1 stack add
blurb
MaggieCarr
post image
review
AmyK1
post image
Pickpick

This was a heart wrenching memoir about Qian, who moves from China to NYC with her parents when she is 7. Instead of a better life they are met with discrimination, racism, poverty, near starvation and the threat of deportation.

38 likes2 stack adds
review
sarahlandis
post image
Pickpick

Wow x1000. This was a gut wrenching memoir of a young girl illegally immigrating to the US from China with her parents. She narrates years spent in Brooklyn, from sweatshops, starvation, and navigating friendships in school. Her determination and self will is extraordinary. She tells all her stories and covers very dark territory. Wang now works as a civil rights litigator and I just can‘t get over how good this book is or how inspiring she is!

20 likes1 stack add
review
Marsha Skrypuch
post image
Pickpick

Such a good book but it did make me weep. For fans of Uneducated, The Glass Castle.

review
jdiehr
post image
Pickpick

This memoir is the story of a family who moves to America from China and the struggles that ensue.

America is indeed a beautiful country, but not for everyone.

Wang did a great job describing her family's experience through the eyes of her childhood.

#botm

review
catiewithac
post image
Pickpick

This is a rough story to read. It is hard to believe the level of poverty and starvation people endure in America. Wang shares her personal experiences as an undocumented immigrant growing up in NYC. This includes working as child in a sweatshop. She lived with a level of food insecurity that I find difficult to stomach. In fact, it enrages me. This is certainly an important memoir in the quilt of the American experience. #botm

squirrelbrain Sounds fascinating, although tough, stacked. 4mo
64 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
KatieDid927
post image
Mehso-so

This was a little drier than I like my memoirs. The author has a story to tell about the traumas she faced living her childhood undocumented in Brooklyn. The issue for me is it feels like she just lists out the trauma in chronological order without much retrospection and distance that could‘ve given the book more layers. The abuses and neglect she faced were sickening, but I honestly still don‘t know what she FEELS about it all now. #BotM

kspenmoll Nice review! 4mo
47 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Megabooks
post image
Mehso-so

This book was just okay for me. At first, my opinion improved listening to the #audiobook, but I soon grew restless with that as well. Her sentences were very brief and halting, which I‘m sure serves her well as an attorney, but the constant declarative style drove me nuts! The content was interesting, though. #botm

Cinfhen I almost gave this a so-so too but I felt guilty 🤭I agree this lacked some of the emotional pull that other memoirs have and YOU ( like me) read so many memoirs that the difference is easily felt. 4mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen agree. The style got in the way of content. 4mo
87 likes2 comments
blurb
jdiehr
post image

Hip, hip, hooray!

review
Chelsea.Poole
post image
Pickpick

Read by the author, an immersive memoir of a child‘s immigrant experience from China to America. The details are visceral: the smelly man who took Qian‘s family to McDonald‘s, the comfort of the cat on her bed, the feelings of shame at school. I have no idea how the author was able to tap into her childhood with such feeling. Books like this are why I love memoirs; I have walked in the shoes of this young girl. Exceptional. #theyearofthememoir

Megabooks Currently reading this in print. 👯‍♀️ 4mo
92 likes5 stack adds2 comments
blurb
BookishMarginalia
post image

#BOTM in the house

review
Cinfhen
post image
Pickpick

What does it mean to be seven, hungry, scared, and an illegal undocumented Chinese immigrant? Qian Wang & her parents arrive in America, without speaking any English and little money, hoping to better their lives but instead they face racism, poverty and abject fear of discovery. In China Qian‘s parents were professors, in America her father works menial jobs and her mother sews labels in a sweatshop for three cents a garment. 👇🏽

Cinfhen Qian shares her family‘s early years with vivid detail and unflinching honesty. It‘s a difficult read but ultimately uplifting. (edited) 4mo
Cinfhen Came across this interesting essay just in time for Yom Kippur https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/pb-daily/hunger 4mo
BarbaraBB That situation is similar in Europe where well educated refugees from countries like Iran, Afghanistan and Syria aren‘t allowed to work in their own field but have to start all over again… 4mo
Cinfhen It‘s so sad 😞 it‘s an unfortunate similar situation all over the world @BarbaraBB but a professor to earn 3 cents sewing labels into garments!?!? That‘s insane. I can‘t imagine that type of WANTING/ determination. It‘s such a testament to their strength & resilience 🙌🏻 4mo
BarbaraBB That kind of determination is incredible 4mo
76 likes1 stack add5 comments
blurb
Cinfhen
post image

Ugh, can‘t sleep….life is challenging me
However compared to what author Qian (Julie) Wang went through, my issues are thankfully manageable.
I can‘t imagine what it feels like to be literally starving, when food is all around you 💔but your family can‘t afford to feed you😢
#CoverCrush #ARC #Memoir #NetGalley NOW AVAILABLE ❣️❣️❣️❣️

Cinfhen I think you‘d “like” this one #MemoirGal @Megabooks xx 4mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen reading it right now. Going to dive in more when I finish the Rooney, which is my other print book right now. Just sent my email to you and @BarbaraBB 💜 (edited) 4mo
Megabooks Friend, I can understand why you can‘t sleep after seeing Z off. Will always keep him in my prayers. 💕 4mo
See All 6 Comments
Cinfhen Thank you xxx @Megabooks 4mo
CarolynM Hope today is a better day🌼 4mo
Cinfhen Thanks @CarolynM 🧡Hope you‘re well 4mo
64 likes1 stack add6 comments
blurb
Chelsea.Poole
post image

My latest #audiobook is excellent. I felt incredibly guilty listening to the details of her hunger as a child while I ate my lunch.

Gissy 😋 4mo
Librariana Your lunch does look pretty divine. Hope it was as tasty as it looks! 4mo
Chelsea.Poole @Librariana thank you! It was definitely delicious 😋 4mo
89 likes2 stack adds3 comments
blurb
JenReadsAlot
post image
33 likes1 stack add
blurb
Leftcoastzen
post image

Beautiful Country looks interesting, but the add on pushed me over the edge.Sally Rooney! Did I say I need the new Rooney, covet the new Rooney?
#BOTM got me again.

Desha I got Rooney‘s book as an add on too! So excited! 📚👏🏻 5mo
42 likes1 comment
blurb
EH2018
post image

My #BOTM Pick! Now, to make it through the last 6 I ordered...😅

blurb
Hollie
post image

On a month that I wasn‘t really feeling any of the main picks, I ended up with a three book box. 🤷🏼‍♀️ #botm

EvieBee I‘ve heard so many good things about Beautiful Country. 5mo
Hollie @EvieBee I do love a good memoir! 5mo
41 likes2 comments
blurb
JenReadsAlot
post image

#botm pick

blurb
Megabooks
post image

I did for the #BookmojiSocks! I picked the memoir because #YearOfMemoirs, but I hate that my box won‘t ship until the 3rd!! 👎🏻👎🏻 I was hoping to get the Rooney add-on early. ☹️ #botm

vivastory Yeah, I figured they would be delaying any boxes with the Rooney 5mo
Reviewsbylola Yeah that part annoys me and it doesn‘t make much sense to me. Wouldn‘t the publisher want to entice people to choose the book? I feel like the late shipping has the opposite effect. That said, it didn‘t stop me from ordering it. 😂 5mo
Cinfhen Great box!!!! I would have chosen the same 3 but I feel like I can probably borrow all three of these books before I actually physically get to them 5mo
See All 8 Comments
BarbaraBB The new Rooney! I pre-ordered it and hope to receive it the 9th! (edited) 5mo
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola yes to everything you wrote!! 5mo
Megabooks @vivastory it‘s the memoir (which is the main pick) that‘s causing the delay! I don‘t believe Rooney‘s add-on affects shipping time. 5mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen probably so re: getting them!! 5mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB it comes out here on the 7th and I have not canceled my pre-order yet! I‘m going to cancel when my BOTM box ships. I want that book!! 5mo
82 likes8 comments
blurb
BirdLaVie
post image

Woohoo, what a way to start the week! I‘m behind on my August reading since it has been my first month back to work from maternity leave..but it‘s not stopping me from getting two for September! I love a good memoir and Beautiful Country looks intriguing. I am fascinated by immigrant perspectives on American culture. Plus I had to get the Rooney! Love that both books this month have “Beautiful” as the first word in each title ✨ #BOTM

Megabooks Got the same ones! 5mo
BirdLaVie @Megabooks love it! So many people were disappointed with picks but I‘m feeling these! 5mo
18 likes2 comments
blurb
Lissa00
post image

My #botm choice this month looks good! Glad to see a memoir included this month.

49 likes1 stack add
blurb
swishandflick
post image

Confirmed #BOTM picks for September! Looks like they'll be live soon!

swishandflick The one on the far right is 5mo
Cinfhen Thanks for sharing 🥰Are you feeling any😄??!!? I only have 2 credits left and I‘m trying to stretch them out until December so I can get the free book of the year 😜 5mo
swishandflick @Cinfhen I only want one of the add-ons (the Rooney), so unfortunately I may be skipping. I don't think I want to pick one of these *just* to get that one and I may wait it out with the library 5mo
Cinfhen Same!! Most of the selections are #BorrowNotBuy for me as well!!! I think can wait it out😅 5mo
73 likes5 comments
blurb
GAustin
post image

This #Netgalley has been something I am looking forward to reading. Ready to dive in.

review
everlocalwest
post image
Pickpick

Childhhood memoir of immigration, fear, & poverty. Wang is deeply connected with her child self and the tone of this memoir feels as though the story is being told by that frightened girl rather than the woman she has become, which makes for a powerful read! Towards the end of the memoir as Wang comes to terms with her childhood trauma she acknowledges the power inherent in vulnerability and the reader can see how this book began. Truly a triumph!

21 likes2 stack adds