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Lisa See is the author of Flower Net, The Interior and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. She lives in Los Angeles. Her new novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a mesmerising novel about two young girls growing up in feudal China.
Photograph Â© Patricia Williams
Set in 1950s China during Mao’s brutal ’great leap forward’ this heart-rending story of a mother's love is a gripping and mesmerising read. And with the research the author has done, an education as well. This book can be read as a ’stand-alone’ but it follows on from where Shanghai Girls left off.
Nineteen-year-old Joy Louie has run away from her home in 1950s America to start a new life in China. Idealistic and unafraid, she believes that Chairman Mao is on the side of the people, despite what her family keeps telling her. How can she trust them, when she has just learned that her parents have lied to her for her whole life, that her mother Pearl is really her aunt and that her real father is a famous artist who has been living in China all these years? Joy arrives in Green Dragon Village, where families live in crowded, windowless huts and eke out a meagre existence from the red soil. And where a handsome young comrade catches her eye...Meanwhile, Pearl returns to China to bring her daughter home - if she can. For Mao has launched his Great Leap Forward, and each passing season brings ever greater hardship to cities and rural communes alike. Joy must rely on her skill as a painter and Pearl must use her contacts from her decadent childhood in 1930s Shanghai to find a way to safety, and a chance of joy for them both
A riveting tale, set in 19th century China, of two little girls whose lives are linked by a bond stronger than blood. Lily and Snow FlowerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s love for each other survives separation, terrible hardship, marriage, childbirth and betrayal. Lisa SeeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s novel is a compelling story of love and the human spirit, brought vividly to life by the detailed picture it presents of ordinary Chinese womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lives in a time when their sole value was as housekeepers and goods to be traded between households. If you enjoy Adeline Yen-Mah and Amy Tan, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll enjoy this.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and family secrets on a small Korean island. Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village's all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook's mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook's differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epic set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wetsuits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother's position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point. This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story-one of women's friendships and the larger forces that shape them-The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives. 'For centuries, women on Korea's Jeju island have been free-diving into the sea, a practice explored through this fictionalized story of two friends who struggle to stay close amid war, family rivalries, and a shifting cultural landscape. It's riveting, historical, and heartbreaking all at once' Marie Claire 'Lisa See excels at mining the intersection of family, friendship and history... This novel spans wars and generations, but at its heart is a beautifully rendered story of two women whose individual choices become inextricably tangled' Jodi Picoult 'I was spellbound the moment I entered the vivid and little-known world of the diving women of Jeju... No one writes about female friendship... with more insight and depth than Lisa See' Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See, one of those special writers capable of delivering both poetry and plot (The New York Times Book Review), a moving novel about tradition, tea farming, and the bonds between mothers and daughters. In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for generations-until a stranger appears at the village gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers has ever seen. The stranger's arrival marks the first entrance of the modern world in the lives of the Akha people. Slowly, Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, begins to reject the customs that shaped her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock-conceived with a man her parents consider a poor choice-she rejects the tradition that would compel her to give the child over to be killed, and instead leaves her, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake tucked in its folds, near an orphanage in a nearby city. As Li-yan comes into herself, leaving her insular village for an education, a business, and city life, her daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents. Despite her privileged childhood, Haley wonders about her origins. Across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu'er, the tea that has shaped their family's destiny for centuries. A powerful story about circumstances, culture, and distance, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond of family.
2018 Audie Award Finalist The thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been abandoned and adopted by an American couple.Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gatethe first automobile any of them have seenand a stranger arrives. In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her audience. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city. After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haleys happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their familys destiny for generations. A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.
It's 1938 and the exclusive Oriental nightclub in San Francisco's Forbidden City is holding auditions for showgirls. In the dark, scandalous glamour of the club, three girls from very different backgrounds stumble into each other lives. All the girls have secrets. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl, has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family which has deep roots in San Francisco's Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese. Then, in a heartbeat, everything changes. The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and paranoia, suspicion, and a shocking act of betrayal, threaten to destroy their lives.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER *; NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POSTTheauthor of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and Shanghai Girls has garnered international acclaim for her great skill at rendering the intricate relationships of women and the complex meeting of history and fate. Now comes Lisa See's highly anticipated new novel, China Dolls. It's 1938 in San Francisco: a world's fair is preparing to open on Treasure Island, a war is brewing overseas, and the city is alive with possibilities. Grace, Helen, and Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous Forbidden City nightclub. Grace Lee, an American-born Chinese girl, has fled the Midwest with nothing but heartache, talent, and a pair of dancing shoes. Helen Fong lives with her extended family in Chinatown, where her traditional parents insist that she guard her reputation like a piece of jade. The stunning Ruby Tom challenges the boundaries of convention at every turn with her defiant attitude and no-holds-barred ambition. The girls become fast friends, relying on one another through unexpected challenges and shifting fortunes. When their dark secrets are exposed and the invisible thread of fate binds them even tighter, they find the strength and resilience to reach for their dreams. But after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, paranoia and suspicion threaten to destroy their lives, and a shocking act of betrayal changes everything.Praise for China Dolls ';Superb . . . This emotional, informative and brilliant page-turner resonates with resilience and humanity.'The Washington Post ';This is one of those stories I've always wanted to tell, but Lisa See beat me to it, and she did it better than I ever could. Bravo! Here's a roaring standing ovation for this heartwarming journey into the glittering golden age of Chinese nightclubs.'Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet ';A fascinating portrait of life as a Chinese-American woman in the 1930s and '40s.'The New York Times Book Review ';A sweeping, turbulent tale of passion, friendship, good fortune, bad fortune, perfidy and the hope of reconciliation.'Los Angeles Times ';Lisa See masterfully creates unforgettable characters that linger in your memory long after you close the pages.'Bookreporter ';Stellar . . . The depth of See's characters and her winning prose makes this book a wonderful journey through love and loss.'Publishers Weekly (starred review) ';China Dolls plunges us into a fascinating history and offers an accessible meditation on themes that are still urgent in our contemporary world.'San Francisco Chronicle ';China Dolls is [Lisa See's] most penetrating since Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.'The Seattle Times ';A spellbinding portrait of a time burning with opportunity and mystery.'O: The Oprah MagazineFrom the Hardcover edition.
The bestselling Red Princess thrillers aren't just riveting crime stories; they're novels of emotional depth and savvy insight into modern China. At the heart of Lisa See's dynamic, suspenseful trilogy is the relationship between detective Liu Hulan and American attorney David Stark, two characters caught in the crush of international affairs. Now the entire series is available in one handy eBook bundle: FLOWER NET ';See brings a cool, knowing eye to Chinese-American relations while crafting a nifty tale of suspense.'Chicago Tribune In the waning days of Deng Xiaoping's reign, the U.S. ambassador's son is found entombed in a frozen lake. Off the coast of California, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Stark discovers the corpse of a Red Prince, a scion of China's political elite. With the Chinese and American governments joining forces to see justice done, David teams up with unorthodox police detective Liu Hulan in Beijing. As their investigation sparks an intense connection, David and Hulan uncover a web linking human trafficking to the drug trade and to governmental treacherya web reaching from the Forbidden City to Los Angeles and, like the wide flower net used by Chinese fishermen, threatening to ensnare all within its reach. THE INTERIOR ';Immediate, haunting and exquisitely rendered.'San Francisco Chronicle As David Stark opens a law office in Beijing, Liu Hulan receives an urgent message imploring her to investigate the death of an old friend's daughter, who worked for a toy company about to be sold to a new client of David's. Despite his protests, Hulan goes undercover at the toy factory in a rural village deep in the heart of China, a place that forces her to face a past she has long been running from. Suddenly Hulan and David find themselves on opposing sides: one trying to expose a rogue company, the other bound to protect his client. As pressures mount, they uncover universal truths about good and evil, right and wrongand the sometimes subtle lines that distinguish them. DRAGON BONES ';Stays with you long after the conventional thriller is forgotten.'The Washington Post Book World Liu Hulan and David Stark are traveling to one of the most beautiful places on earth: the Three Gorges, where China's biggest engineering project since the Great Wall is taking place. Hulan is there to investigate the death of an American archaeologist found in the Yangzi River; David is trying to figure out who's stealing artifacts and selling them on the international art market. Haunting the investigation is the possibility that an artifact has been found that could very well alter the history of civilization. Together, David and Hulan unearth more scandals and revive tragic memories as they struggle to solve a mystery as big, unruly, and complex as China itself. Praise for Lisa See and her Red Princess mysteries ';One of the classier practitioners of . . . the international thriller . . . She draws her characters . . . with convincing depth, and offers up documentary social detail that reeks of freshly raked muck. See's China is as vivid as Upton Sinclair's Chicago.'The New York Times Book Review ';A graceful rendering of two different and complex cultures . . . The starkly beautiful landscapes of Beijing and its surrounding countryside are depicted with a lyrical precision.'Los Angeles Times Book Review
Across two critically acclaimed linked novels, now together in this eBook bundle, Lisa See unfolds a captivating saga of the bonds between womenmothers and daughters, sisters and friendswhile illuminating the events of China's tumultuous history. SHANGHAI GIRLS ';As in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love, [See] has . . . created ordinary women who, through willfulness and resiliency, accomplish extraordinary things.'Miami Herald In 1937 Shanghaithe Paris of Asiatwenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are beautiful, modern, and carefree . . . until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth. To repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors from Los Angeles. As Pearl and May set out from the Chinese countryside to the shores of America, they face impossible choices and confront a life-changing secret, but through it all the two sisters hold fast to who they areShanghai girls. DREAMS OF JOY ';Astonishing . . . a story with characters who enter a reader's life, take up residence, and illuminate the myriad decisions and stories that make up human history.'Los Angeles Times Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, Pearl's nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy, runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth fatheran artist with whom both May and Pearl were once in love. Dazzled by him, and blinded by idealism, Joy throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the Communist regime. Terrified for Joy's safety, Pearl returns to Shanghai, determined to save her daughter. Yet even as Joy's and Pearl's journeys converge, one of the most tragic episodes in China's history threatens their very lives. Praise for Lisa See ';Explores the bonds of sisterhood while powerfully evoking the often nightmarish American immigrant experience.'USA Today, on Shanghai Girls ';As compulsively readable as it is an enlightening journey.'The Denver Post, on Shanghai Girls ';See is a gifted historical novelist. . . . The real love story, the one that's artfully shown, is between mother and daughter, and aunt and daughter.'San Francisco Chronicle, on Dreams of Joy ';See's research feels impeccable, and she has created an authentic, visually arresting world.'The Washington Post, on Dreams of Joy