18th One City One Book
Saturday, 6/8/2024
3:00 - 5:00
Chinatown Meeting Room
Chinatown/Him Mark Lai

1135 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
United States

Contact Telephone

Kathryn Ma discusses her book, The Chinese Groove, the story of 18-year-old Shelley's journey from China's Yunnan Province to San Francisco, where he confronts familial discord, cultural adaptation and personal aspirations while leaning on the notion of the "Chinese groove" to navigate his new reality. 

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 hope 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 Laureate. Her latest book, The Chinese Groove is San Francisco Public Library 18th One City One Book. 



Kathryn Ma – Website | Kathryn Ma – Instagram