Tickets to this event are free, but don’t miss your chance to get a hardback copy of Beautiful Country with your ticket for £16.99 (including P&P), granting you free access to the event. You will receive your copy of the book in the 10 days after the event.
Join writer Qian Julie Wang in conversation with Helena Merriman for a virtual event to celebrate the release of her remarkable and unforgettable memoir, Beautiful Country: A Memoir of an Undocumented Childhood.
In China she was the daughter of professors. In Brooklyn her family is 'illegal.'
Qian Julie is just seven when she moves to America, the 'Beautiful Country', where she and her parents find that the roads of New York City are not paved with gold, but crushing fear and scarcity. Unable to speak English at first, Qian Julie and her parents must work wherever they can to survive, all while she battles hunger and loneliness at school. Thus begins an extraordinary story that describes, in vivid colours, days labouring in sweatshops and sushi factories, nights scavenging the streets for furniture, and the terrifying moment when the family emerges from the shadows to seek emergency medical treatment for Qian Julie's mother.
Helena Merriman is an award-winning journalist, documentary-maker, author and broadcaster. She wrote, produced and presented Tunnel 29, one of the BBC’s most successful podcasts with over 6m downloads, listed by the New Yorker as one of the top five podcasts of 2019. She also co-created and presented The Inquiry, the weekly BBC current affairs programme. She is the author of the recently published book, Tunnel 29, published in 18 countries. Helena has worked as a journalist all over the world, with stints in Jerusalem, Washington DC and Egypt, from where she covered the Arab uprisings. Her podcasts have won three Golds at the British Podcast Awards, Foreign Press Association’s Podcast of the Year and Rose D’Or - Best Entertainment. She lives in London with her husband and two children.
Beautiful Country is the story of a girl who learns first to live – and then escape – an invisible life. Don’t miss the chance to hear from Qian Julie about the truth of what it means to grow up as an undocumented immigrant, under the perpetual threat of deportation – and the small joys and sheer determination that kept her family afloat in a new land, and to ask your own questions in the audience Q&A.
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