Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang is raw, heart-breaking, yet captivating memoir. I discovered this story was both compelling and upsetting. It makes a powerful statement about the migrant experience in the United states with beautiful simplicity. I was totally immersed when I read the preface at the beginning. Reading how when things got awful in the writer’s life, she would dream she would record her family’s stories so others like them would realize they were not alone and they, as well, could be survivors, pulled at my heart and feelings strongly. It is so scary, sad, and wrong how Qian’s family, and numerous others, were dealt with so unreasonably, unnecessarily, and unjustifiably.
Arriving in the United states at seven years of age, Qian and her family live in startlingly bad conditions. She adapts rapidly to trust nobody, living in a condition of constant uneasiness, hunger, and fear. Continuously hyper watchful, she turns into a student of human behaviour while she aches to just not stand out. Even school gives little shelter and backing to young Qian, with just the occasional teacher who can look past her foul and grimy outside to see the sharp mind and wild will inside her. Her family in the end finds a more steady life, yet the injuries and scars from their long years of poverty and fear are not effortlessly shed or repaired.
This memoir is full of darkness, but Qian’s life isn’t dark. Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang is not a simple read, but it is an unquestionable must read. I have read numerous other immigration stories, but Qian’s is the first story of a kid moving to the United states from China that I have read, and I am exceptionally grateful for all that I have learned by reading her book. Qian’s writing is legit, which allows us to see all layers of her story, and additionally understand large number of her choices.
As a grown-up my first response was shock when I came to know that she planned to hide the hand that she hurt in a fall, but then I realised I did something almost identical, to try not to bring attention on myself, to abstain from navigating finding a doctor by myself, to abstain from doing something I was too young to even think about doing alone, and I suddenly saw myself there, alongside her. people rush to pass judgement on immigrants and certain choices we make as kids and grown-ups, but until you have lived it yourself, you truly have no clue.