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.

Published Works

  • Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China , Norton, 2005
  • Repeat After Me: A Novel, Overlook Press, 2009
  • Big Girl Small: A Novel, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
  • Blind, Penguin, 2014

Selected Titles At Your Library

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

W.W. Norton,. New York :. ©2005.

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:

Overlook Press,. New York :. 2009.

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.

Big girl small /
ISBN: 0374112576. OCLC Number:

Farrar, Straus and Giroux,. New York :. 2011.

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.

Blind /
ISBN: 0670785229. OCLC Number:

. .

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.


Repeat After Me

  • Book of the Year,
  • Forward

    Magazine, 1989

    Big Girl Small

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

  • 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