Made in China: Book summary and reviews of Made in China by Anna Qu

Made in China

A Memoir of Love and Labor

by Anna Qu

Made in China by Anna Qu X
Made in China by Anna Qu
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Book Summary

A young girl forced to work in a Queens sweatshop calls child services on her mother in this powerful debut memoir about labor and self-worth that traces a Chinese immigrant's journey to an American future.

As a teen, Anna Qu is sent by her mother to work in her family's garment factory in Queens. At home, she is treated as a maid and suffers punishment for doing her homework at night. Her mother wants to teach her a lesson: she is Chinese, not American, and such is their tough path in their new country. But instead of acquiescing, Qu alerts the Office of Children and Family Services, an act with consequences that impact the rest of her life.

Nearly twenty years later, estranged from her mother and working at a Manhattan start-up, Qu requests her OCFS report. When it arrives, key details are wrong. Faced with this false narrative, and on the brink of losing her job as the once-shiny start-up collapses, Qu looks once more at her life's truths, from abandonment to an abusive family to seeking dignity and meaning in work.

Traveling from Wenzhou to Xi'an to New York, Made in China is a fierce memoir unafraid to ask thorny questions about trauma and survival in immigrant families, the meaning of work, and the costs of immigration.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Qu rewrites the bootstrap narrative of immigrants building a better life for their children in her grim and entrancing debut...Even in revisiting her harrowing memories, Qu writes from a place of empathy, transcending pain to embrace hope...This marks the arrival of a promising new voice." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[G]ripping...The book is well written and sometimes brilliantly insightful, but it's also saturated with seething resentment that, while thoroughly understandable, may turn some readers away. A simultaneously powerful and depressing latter-day Dickensian story sure to elicit sympathy from readers." - Kirkus Reviews

"Qu's debut memoir untangles the knots of her complicated, traumatic past as she learns the truth about her own history and reckons with the hopes and constraints of the immigrant experience." - Time

"Made in China is a fierce, provocative look at the sacrifices made by immigrants in a new country, and the sacrifices they pass down to the next generation. It's a story of family and trauma, resilience and collapse, and Qu is dazzling as she dismantles the mythologies surrounding the immigrant work ethic, making clear that a person's humanity should never be connected with how 'productive' they are." - Refinery29

"Anna masterfully evokes her childhood with a power and grace that speak of an experience that no one should ever have to endure. This moving and unforgettable memoir needs to be read by everyone." - Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Patsy

"Anna Qu has written a thoroughly engrossing and nuanced memoir about triumph over trauma and the meaning of home. Made in China brings the immigrant experience to life and makes you root for Anna. A must read." - Sopan Deb, author of Missed Translations

This information about Made in China was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Anna Qu

Anna Qu is a Chinese American writer. Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Lumina, Kartika Review, Kweli Journal, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn.

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