The narrative is full of sharply rendered scenes ... shines light on the childhood that continued to haunt Wang into adulthood, even as her professional accomplishments mounted. She is vulnerable in revealing her uniquely American trauma: a bruised wrist that never quite healed; a hunger that was never quite sated; a feeling that everything, at any moment, could suddenly be taken away. Wang, who is now a civil rights lawyer, is a voice we need. Readers will be grateful for the courage she has displayed in persevering and speaking up.
Qian Julie Wang exposes the darker side of immigration to America: the plight of the undocumented, forced to live in abject poverty in the richest country in the world ... breathtaking honesty and exquisite prose ... She shines a harsh but revealing light on the shadows of poverty, prejudice and life as an undocumented person, leaving her readers with a crucial and essential addition to the wealth of literature about the American dream, immigration and life in the world’s richest country. Full of keen emotional insight, gorgeous, heartrendingly lyrical prose, and the humbling story of a girl coming of age in an impossible situation, Beautiful Country is an astonishingly poignant and unforgettable book.
... powerful ... Wang doesn’t gloss over the hardship and trauma she experienced as an undocumented immigrant in the United States. She 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.