Harpur Edge Book Club

Harpur Edge Book Club

Each year a text written by a Harpur College alumna/us or faculty member is selected and read and discussed by a group of students.

Spring 2023 - Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor by Anna Qu ('06)

Anna Qu
Anna Qu


A young girl forced to work in a Queens sweatshop calls child services on her mother in this powerful debut memoir about labor and self-worth that traces a Chinese immigrant's journey to an American future.

As a teen, Anna Qu is sent by her mother to work in her family's garment factory in Queens. At home, she is treated as a maid and suffers punishment for doing her homework at night. Her mother wants to teach her a lesson: she is Chinese, not American, and such is their tough path in their new country. But instead of acquiescing, Qu alerts the Office of Children and Family Services, an act with consequences that impact the rest of her life.

Nearly twenty years later, estranged from her mother and working at a Manhattan start-up, Qu requests her OCFS report. When it arrives, key details are wrong. Faced with this false narrative, and on the brink of losing her job as the once-shiny start-up collapses, Qu looks once more at her life's truths, from abandonment to an abusive family to seeking dignity and meaning in work.
Traveling from Wenzhou to Xi'an to New York, Made in China is a fierce memoir unafraid to ask thorny questions about trauma and survival in immigrant families, the meaning of work, and the costs of immigration.

How to participate

Harpur College students are eligible to participate in the Harpur Edge Book Club.

Book Club participants will receive a FREE copy of the selected text, lunch/snacks at meetings, and the opportunity to engage with the author. 


  • Open to Harpur College students to register
  • Participants must be able to attend both discussions. 
    • Meeting #1: Friday, March 24 from 2-3 pm
      • Receive your copy of the text, engage in preparation discussion
      • Lunch and Snacks provided
    • Meeting #2: Friday, April 28 from 2-330pm 
      • Meet the author and discussion 
      • Lunch and Snacks provided

How to join:

  • Sign-up on B-Engaged by Friday, March 17.  Space is limited. 

Previous Harpur Edge Book Club selections:
  • Spring 2022: The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening by Jennifer Lynn Stoever
  • Fall 2020: The Weeping Time: Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History by Anne C. Bailey
  • Spring 2019: Morning Altars: A 7 Step Practice to Nourish Your Spirit Through Nature, Art and Ritual. by Day Schildkret ‘00
  • Fall 2018: The Feminist Revolution: The Struggle for Women's Liberation by Bonnie Morris ‘MA ’85, PhD ’88 and D-M Wither
  • Fall 2017: Find Your Whistle by Chris Ullman ’86
  • Spring 2016: Haunted Halls: Ghostlore of American College Campuses by Distinguished Service Professor Libby Tucker
  • Fall 2015: The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant MA'75
  • Spring 2015: The Laws of Gravity by Liz Rosenberg