Foreign rights already sold to The Netherlands and Russia

"There’s a crop of writers with crackling novels coming out this season [including] Jean Kwok… a heartbreaking family story inspired by true events."
The New York Times, A Book Lover’s Guide to Summer, Novelists to Watch
"Excellent from every angle, this is a can't-miss novel for lovers of poignant and propulsive fiction."
"SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE examines the complexities of identity, culture and family as Amy struggles to understand what happened to her sister."
Time, 32 Books You Need to Read This Summer
"I was only about two-thirds of the way through Jean Kwok's Searching For Sylvie Lee when I began telling everyone I know: 'I've found this book, you need to read it.' It's a thriller, and it's an immigrant story, and it's also a romance. I love a lot of books, but none quite like this one. This is a story like no other.”
Marie Claire, The Best Women's Fiction of 2019
"A moving portrait of the unintended consequences that stem from an immigrant family’s efforts to adapt, survive, and provide their children with a better future.”
Harper’s Bazaar, The 17 Best Summer Reads of 2019
“A haunting novel.”
The New York Post, The 25 best beach reads of 2019
“Counting the days until the June release of Jean Kwok’s SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE”
—Julie Langsdorf, The Washington Post
"Stunning. A profoundly moving portrayal of the complicated identities that exist even within a single family... and a graceful portrait of the sacrifices we make for love.”
Nylon Magazine
"More than a simple suspense tale of a missing young woman, this novel explores the complicated dynamics of immigrant families and the universal quest for belonging and identity.”
Town & Country, The Must-Read Books of Summer 2019
"Like all most compelling mysteries, Jean Kwok's SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE has a powerful emotional drama at its heart. A twisting tale of love, loss and dark family secrets."
—Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water
“SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE is riveting. A dazzling, talented woman disappears, leading her younger sister to search the Netherlands—and the past—for the truth. This novel is part mystery, part saga of an immigrant family. It is both gripping and emotionally resonant on every page—a remarkable achievement.”
—Scott Turow, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Testimony
“Jean Kwok’s SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE has a mystery at its core, but it’s more an enlightening exploration of racism and the immigration experience.”
Real Simple, The Short List: 5 Books That Won’t Disappoint
“SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE is part mystery, part emotional drama, and the book you need in your beach bag this summer.”
“A compelling story of how the unsaid can powerfully shape families and lives. Sharply observed, with a plot as unpredictable as its moody Dutch landscape, Kwok’s novel is a powerful meditation on loss, identity, and belonging.”
Shelf Awareness
"Dazzling. A heartbreaking, tumultuous ride of a novel that upends our expectations—about family loyalty, cultural identity and the very nature of love itself—at every twist and turn. Kwok is a wise and knowing story-teller who keeps us under her spell until the very last page.”
—Julie Otsuka, New York Times bestselling author of When the Emperor Was Divine and The Buddha in the Attic, a National Book Award Finalist
“A wonderful portrait of immigrant family life and one of the best 'unputdownable' suspense novels I've read in a long time.”
—Herman Koch, New York Times bestselling author of The Dinner
“This isn’t a novel—it’s a puzzle box of familial secrets, some dark, others luminous, all of it haunting, mysterious, and completely satisfying. I was utterly spellbound.”
—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
"Crossing continents and generations, this magnificent and enthralling story unfolds with the intricate suspense of a classic mystery novel and blooms into a radiant tale of inter-generational family love. The haunting path of Amy's search for the exquisite, lost Sylvie is both mesmerizing and illuminating, spanning oceans and cultures, revealing secret promises and unforeseen passions.”
—Lan Samantha Chang, author of Inheritance, winner of the PEN Open Book Award, director of the University of Iowa MFA Program
“Deftly moving between generations and from New York to the Netherlands, SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE is a page-turner, and a suspenseful journey of secrets, family, loyalty, and loss.”
—Lisa Ko, award-winning author of The Leavers, a National Book Award Finalist
“Written in prose as mesmerizing and full of depth as a perfect pearl, Kwok’s new literary masterwork explores the Chinese immigrant experience both in New York and in Holland, but what it’s really getting at is what it means for anyone to belong—to both your community, your family—and to yourself.”
—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Cruel Beautiful World

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Jean Kwok, photo by Chris Macke

Jean Kwok is the award-winning, New York Times and international bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee (coming June 4, 2019), Girl in Translation and Mambo in Chinatown. Her work has been published in eighteen countries and taught in universities, colleges, and high schools across the world. She has been selected for numerous honors, including the American Library Association Alex Award, the Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award, and the Sunday Times Short Story Award international shortlist. She is trilingual, fluent in Dutch, Chinese, and English, and studied Latin for seven years. Jean immigrated from Hong Kong to Brooklyn when she was five and worked in a Chinatown clothing factory for much of her childhood. She received her bachelor's degree from Harvard and completed an MFA in fiction at Columbia University. She currently lives in the Netherlands… learn more