BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY by Wang NOTE: Meeting Online

Women's Biography
Monday, April 10, 7:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

Beautiful Country: A Memoir of an Undocumented Childhood By Qian Julie Wang Cover Image

Beautiful Country: A Memoir of an Undocumented Childhood (Paperback)


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
7 on hand, as of Mar 30 1:19pm
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
4 on hand, as of Mar 30 1:34pm
Politics and Prose at Union Market
2 on hand, as of Mar 30 1:34pm

September 2021 Indie Next List

“In this brutally honest coming-of-age memoir, Qian Julie Wang comes to terms with the deprivations and struggles of her undocumented Chinese upbringing in New York City in the 1990s.”
— Kayleen Rohrer, InkLink Books, East Troy, WI

A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • The moving story of an undocumented child living in poverty in the richest country in the world—an incandescent debut from an astonishing new talent • A TODAY SHOW #READWITHJENNA PICK

In Chinese, the word for America, Mei Guo, translates directly to “beautiful country.” Yet when seven-year-old Qian arrives in New York City in 1994 full of curiosity, she is overwhelmed by crushing fear and scarcity. In China, Qian’s parents were professors; in America, her family is “illegal” and it will require all the determination and small joys they can muster to survive.

In Chinatown, Qian’s parents labor in sweatshops. Instead of laughing at her jokes, they fight constantly, taking out the stress of their new life on one another. Shunned by her classmates and teachers for her limited English, Qian takes refuge in the library and masters the language through books, coming to think of The Berenstain Bears as her first American friends. And where there is delight to be found, Qian relishes it: her first bite of gloriously greasy pizza, weekly “shopping days,” when Qian finds small treasures in the trash lining Brooklyn’s streets, and a magical Christmas visit to Rockefeller Center—confirmation that the New York City she saw in movies does exist after all.

But then Qian’s headstrong Ma Ma collapses, revealing an illness that she has kept secret for months for fear of the cost and scrutiny of a doctor’s visit. As Ba Ba retreats further inward, Qian has little to hold onto beyond his constant refrain: Whatever happens, say that you were born here, that you’ve always lived here.

Inhabiting her childhood perspective with exquisite lyric clarity and unforgettable charm and strength, Qian Julie Wang has penned an essential American story about a family fracturing under the weight of invisibility, and a girl coming of age in the shadows, who never stops seeking the light.
QIAN JULIE WANG is a graduate of Yale Law School and Swarthmore College. Formerly a commercial litigator, she is now managing partner of Gottlieb & Wang LLP, a firm dedicated to advocating for education and civil rights. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two rescue dogs, Salty and Peppers.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593313008
ISBN-10: 0593313003
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, NPR, Publishers Weekly, The Guardian, Good Housekeeping, She Reads, and more One of President Obama's Favorite Books of the Year

“Incredibly important, exquisitely written, harrowing. . . Beautiful Country tells [Wang’s] story, well, quite beautifully. It is not only Wang’s mastery of the language that makes the story so compelling, but also the passionate yearning for empathy and understanding. Beautiful Country is timely, yes, but more importantly it is a near-masterpiece that will make Qian Julie Wang a literary star.”Shondaland

“For fans of Angela's Ashes and The Glass Castle.”—Newsday

“[An] exquisitely crafted memoir.”—Oprah Daily

“A heartbreaking and intimate memoir... the storytelling from a young Qian’s perspective is riveting.”Politico

“This unforgettable memoir is eye-opening to the nth degree.”—Real Simple

“Elegantly affecting.”The Guardian

“A coming-of-age memoir about an undocumented Chinese girl growing up in New York's Chinatown, this lyrical book is full of small moments of joy, heartbreaking pain and the struggles of a family trying to survive in the shadows of society. It's a uniquely American story, and an essential one.”Good Housekeeping

“An astounding memoir from a debut author that you’re not going to want to miss.”—PopSugar

“[Qian Julie Wang] is remarkable, and her story is a must-read.”—Alma

“An amazing story of the emotional and physical toll of lives lived in the enforced shadows of anti-immigrant America.”—Daily Kos

“Wang’s voice is powerful and the writing is absolutely gorgeous.” —Emma Straub, author of This Time Tomorrow

“Beautiful Country rings with power and authenticity. Wang's searing exploration reveals how she and her family were forced to navigate the yawning cracks in the American Dream. An eloquent, thought-provoking and touching memoir.”—Jean Kwok, author of Girl in Translation and Searching for Sylvie Lee

“Heartrending, unvarnished, and powerfully courageous, this account of growing up undocumented in America will never leave you.”—Gish Jen, author of The Resisters

“Deeply compelling…I was moved by the love and resilience of this family thrust into darkness…that casts an urgent light on a reality that extends way beyond America’s borders.”—Hisham Matar, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Return

“A potent testament to the love, curiosity, grit, and hope of a courageous and resourceful immigrant child. Engaging readers through all five senses and the heart, Wang's debut memoir is a critical addition to the literature on immigration as well as the timeless category of childhood memoir.”—Kirkus Reviews, *Starred Review*

“Extraordinary… With immense skill, Wang parses how her family’s illegal status blighted nearly every aspect of their life . . .While Wang’s story of pursuing the American dream is undoubtedly timeless, it’s her family’s triumph in the face of “xenophobia and intolerance” that makes it feel especially relevant today. Consider this remarkable memoir a new classic.”—Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review*

“The writing is sparse, stylish, sometimes harrowing and sometimes humorous as she narrates experiences that are incredibly common but rarely captured with this level of artful control. It’s shaping up to be one of the best memoirs of the year.”—Bookpage, *Starred Review*

“[A] powerful debut. . . [Wang] movingly tells how undocumented families like hers are often overlooked and their experiences ignored. A haunting memoir of people and places that will stay with readers long after the last page.”—Library Journal

The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel By Kati Marton NOTE: meeting online

Women's Biography
Monday, March 13, 7:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel By Kati Marton Cover Image

The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel (Paperback)


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
4 on hand, as of Mar 30 1:19pm
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
2 on hand, as of Mar 30 1:34pm
Politics and Prose at Union Market
2 on hand, as of Mar 30 1:34pm
The “captivating” (The New York Times), definitive biography of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, detailing the extraordinary rise and political brilliance of the most powerful—and elusive—woman in the world.

Angela Merkel has always been an outsider. A pastor’s daughter raised in Soviet-controlled East Germany, she spent her twenties working as a research chemist, entering politics only after the fall of the Berlin Wall. And yet within fifteen years, she had become chancellor of Germany and, before long, the unofficial leader of the West.

In this “masterpiece of discernment and insight” (The New York Times Book Review), acclaimed biographer Kati Marton sets out to pierce the mystery of Merkel’s unlikely ascent. With unparalleled access to the chancellor’s inner circle and a trove of records only recently come to light, she teases out the unique political genius that had been the secret to Merkel’s success. No modern leader so ably confronted Russian aggression, enacted daring social policies, and calmly unified an entire continent in an era when countries are becoming more divided. Again and again, she cleverly outmaneuvered strongmen like Putin and Trump, and weathered surprisingly complicated relationships with allies like Obama and Macron.

Famously private, the woman who emerges from this “impressively researched” (The Wall Street Journal) account is a role model for anyone interested in gaining and keeping power while staying true to one’s moral convictions. At once a “riveting” (Los Angeles Review of Books) political biography, an intimate human portrait, and a revelatory look at successful leadership in action, The Chancellor brings forth one of the most extraordinary women of our time.
Kati Marton is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy and Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. An award-winning former NPR correspondent and ABC News bureau chief in Germany, she was born in Hungary and lives in New York City.
Product Details ISBN: 9781501192630
ISBN-10: 1501192639
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 11th, 2022
Pages: 368
Language: English
—Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times

—Fareed Zakaria, CNN

“A masterpiece of discernment and insight.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Kati Marton has come closer than anyone to unlocking the mystery of Angela Merkel, the most important politician of the twenty-first century.”
—George Packer, National Book Award-winning author of Last Best Hope

“A riveting story, adroitly told, full of engrossing anecdotes and rich details.” 
Los Angeles Review of Books

“Kati Marton’s cogent and penetrating portrait of Angela Merkel will change our understanding of the most powerful woman in the world. With a rare grasp of the subtleties of global politics, Marton explains how an unassuming science PhD from East Germany emerged to save the Western Alliance. It’s a thrilling tale, skillfully told.”
—Jonathan Alter, New York Times bestselling author of His Very Best

“To understand how we can protect democracy in an era of populist and authoritarian upheaval, we need to understand Angela Merkel. Kati Marton has produced an intimate, insightful portrait of an extraordinarily private leader, who, in her quiet and determined way, made Germany the economic and moral leader of Europe.”
—Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of The Code Breaker

“Elegant, concise and accessible.”
—Fintan O’Toole, The New York Review of Books

“Impressively researched… with deftly drawn depictions of Ms. Merkel’s early years, personality and daily working life, depictions made all the more interesting by how little most of the public knows about what makes Ms. Merkel tick.”
The Wall Street Journal 

“The private Merkel also makes an appearance in this biography, with accounts of her marriages, her love of music and nature, and her sense of humor on full display. After finishing the book, readers will likely feel that the description of Merkel as “elusive” no longer serves... [I]t takes a writer of Marton’s caliber to reveal what has been in front of us the whole time.”
Christian Science Monitor 

“A compelling and memorable portrait. Angela Merkel’s life is a testament to the power of commitment, diligence, and the possibilities of politics. The Chancellor tells that story with insight and grace.”
—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of His Truth is Marching On

“It’s instructive to spend time in Merkel’s competent and humane company… [Marton] has doggedly retraced Merkel’s trail, and the story she brings is a good one.”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“With her signature superpowers of rigorous research and unparalleled empathy, Marton brings us deep into the private sphere of Angela Merkel.”
—Eliza Griswold, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Amity and Prosperity

“This smart, readable biography chronicles Merkel’s remarkable odyssey... knit from a thousand threads of details revealed over the years.” 
—Susan Page, USA Today (3 1/2 out of 4 stars)

“This is the best English-language biography of her rise from a tough and traditional family, through her career as a physical chemist in communist East Germany, to her current renown.”
Foreign Affairs

“A fascinating picture of a powerful woman whose repeated denigration of power only concealed how wedded she was to power as a means of getting her own way.”
— London Times Literary Review

“Marton… [has] obtained a remarkable degree of access to the chancellor’s inner circle… Merkel emerges as a sympathetic and down-to earth figure… [and] winningly independent-minded.”
The Times (UK)

“We need many more Angela Merkels in the world; aspiring leaders should start with this book.” 
—Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America

“Definitive and brilliantly written, The Chancellor reads like a mystery, as if we didn’t yet know the outcome. This is the biography for history!”
—Volker Schlöndorff, Academy Award-winning director of The Tin Drum

“Fascinating. For anyone who thinks they know a lot about Angela Merkel; for anyone who knows nothing about Angela Merkel—pick up this book and do not put it down until the very last page.”
New York Journal of Books

“Marton’s beautifully written, balanced and insightful biography should be enjoyed by anyone interested in global politics or a fascinating life story.”
BookPage (starred review)

No Meeting for February

Women's Biography
Monday, February 13, 3:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.