Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Rachel DeWoskin  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Young Adult;

Born: 1972 in Kyoto, Japan

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Illinois Connection

DeWoskin teaches fiction at the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Rachel DeWoskin graduated from Columbia University and moved to Beijing to work in Public Relations, but ended up starring in the hit Chinese soap opera ''Foreign Babes in Beijing''. After spending time there and returning to the US, she earned a masters in poetry from Boston University and published a memoir about her experiences on the Chinese soap, which had 600 million viewers. DeWoskin’s memoir is currently in production with HBO. Currently, DeWoskin is on the creative writing faculty at the University of Chicago and divides her time between Chicago and Beijing.


Repeat After Me

-- Book of the Year, ''Forward'' Magazine, 1989

Big Girl Small

-- Top Three Books, Newsday, 2011
-- Alex Award, American Library Association, 2012


-- Library Guild Selection
-- Starred Review, Kirkus
-- ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2016

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes) Please contact her at Rachel DeWoskin c/o Grinberg Literary Management 244 5th Avenue 11th Floor New York, NY 10001

Selected Titles At Your Library

Big girl small /
ISBN: 0374112576. OCLC Number: 650212498

Farrar, Straus and Giroux,. .

With a singing voice that can shake an auditorium, Judy should be the star of Darcy Academy, the local performing arts high school. So why is a girl this promising hiding out in a seedy motel room on the edge of town? A scathingly funny and moving book about dreams and reality, at once light on its feet and profound.

Big girl small :
ISBN: 9781441795441. OCLC Number: 703547749

Playaway Digital Audio :. .

Judy Lohden is your above-average sixteen-year-old: sarcastic and vulnerable, talented and uncertain, full of big dreams for a big future. With a singing voice that can shake an auditorium, she should be the star of Darcy Arts Academy, the local performing-arts high school. So why is a girl this promising hiding out in a seedy motel room? The fact that the national media is on her trail after a controversy that might bring down the whole school could have something to do with it. And that scandal has something to do with the fact that Judy is three feet nine inches tall.

ISBN: 9780142424551. OCLC Number: 913924686

. .

When a tragic accident leaves her blind, fifteen-year-old Emma Sasha Silver must relearn everything from recognizing her family, to remembering colors, to getting around. Then, just as she's about to reenter school, a classmate's body is found, with all signs pointing to suicide. Determined to understand the girl's actions--and to avoid being perceived as a poor blind kid--Emma sets out to unite her classmates to explore the situation. She'll have to navigate an adolescence made even more difficult by her new handicap, but her own resilience, along with the support of her family and friends, allows her to emerge strong.--Page 4 of cover.

Blind /
ISBN: 0670785229. OCLC Number: 862575284

. .

After a horrific accident leaves her blind, fifteen-year-old Emma, one of seven children, eagerly starts high school as a sophomore, and finds that nearly everything has changed--sometimes for the better.

Foreign babes in Beijing :
ISBN: 9781862079175. OCLC Number: 71542806

Granta Books,. .

Foreign babes in Beijing :
ISBN: 0393328597. OCLC Number: 57422307

W.W. Norton,. .

DeWoskin moved to Beijing in 1989, just as China's younger population began embracing Western ideologies and commodities. An executive for an American PR firm by day, by night DeWoskin became the star of one of China's first television soap operas, a melodrama involving a sexy American college student who wins the love of a rebellious young Chinese man. The merging of two worlds onscreen is nothing compared to the cultural assimilation DeWoskin observes within China itself in the years immediately following Tiananmen Square. Her memoir weaves humorous tales of culture clashes with astute observations of a traditional and repressed society's tumultuous confrontation with liberated, energetic, and economically dynamic Western influences.

Repeat after me /
ISBN: 1590202228. OCLC Number: 276819720

Overlook Press,. .

Aysha Silvermintz is a marginally neurotic, sublimely needy young instructor of English to immigrants in Manhattan?s Upper West Side. Her student Da Ge is an intriguingly taciturn, softly menacing Chinese national who came to the U.S. in the wake of the Tiananmen Square uprisings. What they lack in fluid communication skills they more than make up for in shared emotional fragility, born of family tragedies and personal failures. Aysha falls instantly and secretly in love with Da Ge, long before he bluntly asks her to marry him so he can become a U.S. citizen. Aysha becomes pregnant, but before she can tell him, Da Ge commits suicide just days before his citizenship is finalized. Determined to understand what plagued this tortured, enigmatic man, Aysha moves to China, where she?ll raise the daughter he never knew.--From Booklist.