Pioneer Book Club

Information and Questions about Pioneer Book Club Events

How do I register? Register online to attend a book club event in your area or contact your hostess individually.

What is Pioneer Book Club?  Pioneer Book Club is a collaborative alumnae event that will reconnect alumnae to life on campus and to one another. The Alumnae Association invites all alumnae to share in the common reading experience of Girl in Translation by New York Times bestselling author, Jean Kwok.

When is Pioneer Book Club?  Pioneer Book Club will be celebrated in February and March 2016 with alumnae hostesses opening their homes  or other location (restaurant, coffeehouse, bookstore, etc.) for conversation, refreshments, and a lively book discussion.  Check out our list of events for a book discussion in your area. (I don’t see an event in my area, but I would like to host a book discussion!)

Tell me more about the book Girl in Translation. Jean Kwok's Girl in Translation tells the story of Kimberly Chang who emigrated with her mother from Hong Kong to Brooklyn in hopes of a better life. The reader quickly leans of Kim's struggle to balance the double life she must lead - that of a high-achieving schoolgirl during the day and a Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Like many immigrants, Kim is caught between the pressure to succeed in America, her duty to her family, and her own personal desires and ambitions. Jean Kwok tells a classic American story of a young girl who continually translates herself between two very different worlds - a life that Jean Kwok, also an immigrant, and many others have experienced.

Tell me more about Jean Kwok. A New York Times bestselling author of award-winning novels, Jean Kwok's writing has been featured in newspapers and periodicals across the country- Newsweek, Time, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and The New York Times, among others. Like Kim in Girl in Translation, Jean Kwok immigrated from Hong Kong with her family when she was five. Also like Kim, Jean Kwok learned to balance her life between two worlds. A very good student, she entered Harvard as a sophomore and there found her true calling - writing. Later, Kwok received a MFA in fiction from Columbia University. During her years at Harvard and before entering Columbia, she worked in a variety of jobs - cleaning houses, washing dishes, reading to the blind, tutoring immigrants, even dancing professionally. Eventually moving to Holland and adjusting to another culture, Jean Kwok taught at Leiden University until Girl in Translation was published. Still living in Holland with her husband and two sons, she now devotes herself to writing fulltime.

I don't have time to read Girl in Translation. May I still attend a Pioneer Book Club event? Yes, we encourage you to call your area hostess and reserve a space to enjoy spending time with other Wesleyan women in your city.

I live in a big city and have limited space in my home. How large a group would I be hosting? We suggest that attendees to book club events be limited to no more than 20 alumnae at each event. We anticipate having multiple Pioneer Book Club events in larger cities to accommodate all alumnae who are interested in participating.  Each event will have its own RSVP date.

What kind of refreshments should I serve? Light refreshments are the best, but selections are up to each individual hostess and her friends. Coffee and dessert is always a good choice.

What kind of resources will Wesleyan provide? Each hostess will receive a Pioneer Book Club Package that will include: name tags, sign-in sheets, discussion questions, contact information forms, a door prize, book marks, and event evaluation forms.

How will Pioneer Book Club be promoted?  The Alumnae Office will promote Pioneer Book Club through e-invitations, emails, the Wesleyan Magazine, and social media, and will provide hostesses with resources for events.

Where can I buy a copy of  Girl in Translation? You can purchase your copy of Girl in Translation online from the Wesleyan Campus StoreBarnes and Noble, or Amazon