You don't need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle books. Download one of our FREE Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on all your devices.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
    Windows Phone
  • Click here to download from Amazon appstore

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.


Buying Options

Kindle Price: $14.93
includes tax, if applicable

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Kindle App Ad
Useful Phrases for Immigrants: Stories (Bakwin Award) by [May-lee Chai]

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

Useful Phrases for Immigrants: Stories (Bakwin Award) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 ratings

Amazon Price
New from Used from
Length: 147 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

Get 90 days FREE of Amazon Music Unlimited
with the purchase of any eligible product. Shop now

Product description


"It's as if the author is getting out of her own way, giving herself space to focus on the mechanics of one individual narrative at a time. Yet in each there's a sense of many other narratives just off the page, the lives and back stories we aren't seeing. Short stories are by definition brief, but they needn't be small." --New York Times

"Immersive and complex, Chai's characters confront questions about class, family, sexuality, love, longing and more. The sign of a strong collection is one where the stories work together to inform the reader, and Chai's eight tales do just that." --Washington Post

"Chai doesn't give us op-eds decorated with human fixtures. Instead, we get human lives in which migration is one shaping force jostling alongside many others, including puberty, sexuality, disease, and old age." --The National

"With her masterful short story collection, Chai proves with exquisite craftsmanship that less can be so much more. In quiet moments of family drama, Chai shines a light on the deeper truths." --Booklist (Starred Review)

"Chai thoughtfully depicts the loneliness of displacement, combining empathy and nuance to craft stories that are compassionate, illuminating, and sometimes brilliant." --Publishers Weekly

"May-lee Chai's Useful Phrases for Immigrants is distinguished by writing as elegant and delicate as a snowflake...Devastating and graceful in equal turns, this collection confirms Chai's place among the best Asian American writers of today." --Foreword Reviews (Starred Review)

"Chai's confident writing and insights into characters wanting, but unable, to fit in--whether because of class, sexuality, ethnicity, or the everyday complications of human connection--make her a writer to remember." --Kirkus Reviews

"Chai's stories carry themes about borders--national, cultural and psychic--and traditions old, new and invented. As the world becomes increasingly global, this material proves ever-relevant... These evocative stories are variously funny, surprising, gloomy and heartening, ultimately about a universal human experience, of immigration and beyond." --Shelf Awareness

"Chai's latest is a slim volume featuring a diverse assortment of tales that explore immigrant identity in unique ways." --Entertainment Weekly "New & Notable" "buzziest books" guide and "20 New Books to Read in October"

The Millions "Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2018 Book Preview;" Elle "28 Best Books to Read in Fall 2018;" Electric Lit "46 Books by Women of Color to Read in 2018;" and Bustle "11 Most Anticipated Books Published by Indie Presses to Have on Your Radar in 2018," "Finished Crazy Rich Asians? Try These 8 Books Next," and "'Useful Phrases For Immigrants' By May-Lee Chai Explores The Effect Of Globalization, Class, And Race On Family Dynamics"

"May-lee Chai presents us with a splendid gem of a story collection . . . Complementing the vivid characters, the reader has the gift of language--'a wind so treacherous it had its own name, ' 'summer days stretched taffy slow'....Chai's work is a grand event." --Edward P. Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Known World, All Aunt Hagar's Children, and Lost in the City

"The eight stories in this collection contain multitudes. Chai interrogates heavy subjects with a light touch...Useful Phrases for Immigrants is more than merely "useful," this is essential reading and I'm honored to choose this book for the Bakwin Award." --Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage and Silver Sparrow

"The characters in May-lee Chai's riveting Useful Phrases for Immigrants ask searching questions--of themselves, of their families, and of their culture. The answers, they often find, are within themselves, rooted in love and hope. This clear-eyed story collection features characters so well-drawn that I won't ever forget them." --Chantel Acevedo, author of A Falling Star, The Distant Marvels, and The Living Infinite

"May-lee Chai's Useful Phrases for Immigrants holds multitudes, taking us into a dazzling range of lives. With exquisite prose and unforgettable characters, the collection is a must-read." --Vanessa Hua, A River of Stars

"With insight, compassion, and clarity, May-lee Chai vividly illustrates the reverberations of migration--both physical and psychological; between countries, cities, and generations; and within families and individuals. You won't forget these characters." --Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers, finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

May-lee Chai is the author of ten books, including the memoir Hapa Girl, a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book; the novel Tiger Girl, which won an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature; and her original translation from Chinese to English of the 1934 Autobiography of Ba Jin. Her award-winning short prose has been published widely, including in Glimmer Train, Missouri Review, Seventeen, Crab Orchard Review, The Rumpus, ZYZZYVA, Dallas Morning News, Christian Science Monitor, and San Francisco Chronicle. The recipient of an NEA fellowship in prose, Chai is an assistant professor in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07JQ3HHQR
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Blair (23 October 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2155 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 147 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0932112765
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 26 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
26 global ratings
5 star
4 star
3 star 0% (0%) 0%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star
How are ratings calculated?

Review this product

Share your thoughts with other customers

Top reviews from Australia

There are 0 reviews and 0 ratings from Australia

Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Literary Tapestry
Reviewed in the United States on 11 November 2018
Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Fact Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing
Reviewed in the United States on 23 August 2019
Verified Purchase
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read
Reviewed in the United States on 14 November 2018
Verified Purchase