I'm excited to tell you that  Mambo in Chinatown, with a gorgeous new cover, is now  available in paperback!


It's been such a great year! I am so grateful to all of you for your friendship and support. For those of you who purchased a hardcover in 2014, thank you for helping to give my book an amazing first year filled with wonderful reviews

I enjoyed meeting many of you at my readings and talks, most recently when I shared the stage with Amy Tan and Lisa See at the Tucson Festival of Books - what a panel that was!

And last month, I also had the honor of speaking at Harvard University, something I had daydreamed about ever since studying there as an undergraduate.

For fans of  Girl in Translation , Kimberly makes a tiny appearance in Mambo in Chinatown  as well, with a mystery love interest. 

Girl in Translation cover

And if you haven't seen me dancing  yet, the video is below! 

I'm wishing all of you a wonderful summer filled with laughter, sunshine and good books. I'm working hard on my new novel, which is set in both the US and Europe. 

I hope to either see you in person soon or to keep in touch via    Like us on Facebook  or  Follow us on Twitter
Thanks so much for everything!  

Jean (the furry one is Anibaba)

photo credit: Leon Pigmans


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From the bestselling author of 
Girl in Translation, a novel about a young woman torn between her family duties in Chinatown and her escape into the world of ballroom dancing.

reviews"Rarely has [this story] been told with such grace, lightness and humor as in this delightful novel by the author of the best-selling Girl in Translation (2010)."
- Chicago Tribune

"Dreams Take Flight in Jean Kwok's Mambo in Chinatown...a great story of cultural conflict and reaching for your dreams." 
- Boston Herald

"Best Books of 2014: Mambo in Chinatown. Western convention clashes with traditional Eastern culture when a young, impoverished Chinese-American woman dips her toe into the glittering world of professional ballroom dancing-and finds love." 
- Woman's Day 

"Best Books of June, Top 10 Fiction List. Heady and entertaining: Mambo in Chinatown."
- iBooks

"In her winning second novel (after Girl in Translation, 2010), Kwok infuses her heartwarming story with both the sensuality of dance and the optimism of a young woman coming into her own."
- Booklist

"Summer Books Preview 2014, titles to keep you reading: Mambo in Chinatown. A young Chinese-American woman is torn between her family duties and tradition in New York's Chinatown and the contemporary life she discovers through ballroom dancing."
- Los Angeles Times

"A poignant tale of self-discovery from the bestselling author of Girl in Translation."
- Advance (June cover title)

"One of This Summer's Hottest Page-Turners: Mambo in Chinatown. A riveting story about a young woman who ultimately finds her calling and manages to exceed everyone's expectations -  including, most important, her own." 
- Real Simple

"The kind of book where I put it down, closed my eyes, and the characters were still dancing in my mind. Sweet and lovely, filled with old-world tradition, Chinese superstition, and the complicated dance of forbidden love."
- Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and Songs of Willow Frost 
"Kwok has created a charming heroine into whose dance shoes readers can easily step. Charlie faces many of the same dilemmas that plague modern young women: balancing the demands of family and career without sacrificing too much of either, choosing whether or not to pursue love when it may mean giving up a fulfilling work life. Kwok has a gift for conveying the passion and sensuality of ballroom dancing in her energetic prose."
- Shelf Awareness

photo credit: Chris Macke

(Mambo in Chinatown in Dutch)

Jean Kwok is the New York Times and international bestselling author of the award-winning novels Girl in Translation and Mambo in Chinatown. Her work has been published in 17 countries and taught in universities, colleges and high schools across the world. She has been selected for many honors including the American Library Association Alex Award, the Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award, and Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers. Jean's writing has been featured in Time, The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, People, Real Simple and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others. 


Jean immigrated from Hong Kong to Brooklyn when she was five and worked in a Chinatown clothing factory for much of her childhood while living in an unheated, roach-infested apartment. In between her undergraduate degree at Harvard and MFA in fiction at Columbia, she worked for three years as a professional ballroom dancer. Jean lives in the Netherlands with her husband, two boys and three cats, and is working on her next novel. 

For the most recent information, please check her  website

Mambo in Chinatown, Jean Kwok - Author Dances in Video
Mambo in Chinatown, Jean Kwok - Author Dances in Video