One City One Book 2024
Tuesday, 5/28/2024
6:30 - 7:30
Excelsior Meeting Room

4400 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94112
United States

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We discuss The Chinese Groove, by Kathryn Ma.

Kathryn Ma’s Chinese Groove follows the journey of 18-year-old Shelley, who leaves his home in China's Yunnan Province to seek a brighter future in the United States. Encountering familial fractures and unmet expectations upon his arrival, Shelley navigates the complexities of immigrant life in present-day San Francisco.

Initially sent to live with his supposed rich uncle, Shelley discovers that reality diverges sharply from his hopes. Instead, he finds himself in a crowded rooming house, juggling school, work and relationships while always reaching for his aspirations of becoming a poet and rekindling a romance with his American ex-girlfriend.

As Shelley traverses the challenges of his new surroundings, he leans on the concept of the "Chinese groove," an unspoken connection among fellow immigrants, to navigate his new reality. Through humorous yet poignant encounters and unexpected twists, Shelley confronts the challenges of family and finding a home, grief and the pursuit of success in a foreign land.

Amidst the episodic plot and diverse cast of characters, including his not-so-rich second cousin Ted and Ted's Jewish wife Aviva, Shelley's journey unfolds with both resilience and introspection.

Kathryn Ma is the author of the widely praised novel The Year She Left Us, which was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice and an NPR “Great Read” of the year. Her short story collection, All That Work and Still No Boys, won the Iowa Short Fiction Award and was named a San Francisco Chronicle “Notable Book” and a Los Angeles Times “Discoveries Book.” She is also a recipient of the David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction and has twice been named a San Francisco Public Library er new latest book, Chinese Groove is San Franisco Public Library 18th One City One Book.


Related Event
Author Talk: Kathryn Ma in Conversation with Natalie Baszile – Sat., May 4, 2 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium