See revisits Shanghai Girls sisters Pearl and May in this surefire story of life in Communist China. Joy, the daughter Pearl has raised as her own in L.A., learns the truth about her parentage and flees to China to seek out her father and throw herself into the Communist cause, giving See ample opportunity to explore the People’s Republic from an unlikely perspective as Joy reconnects with her artist father, Z.G. Li, and the two leave sophisticated Shanghai to go to the countryside, where Z.G., whose ironic view of politics is lost on naïve Joy, has been sent to teach art to the peasants. Joy, full of political vigor, is slow to pick up on the harsh realities of communal life in late 1950s China, but the truth sinks in as Mao’s drive to turn China into a major agriculture and manufacturing power backfires. Pearl, meanwhile, leaves L.A. on a perhaps perilous quest to find Joy. As always, See creates an immersive atmosphere–her rural China is far from postcard pretty–but Joy’s education is a stellar example of finding new life in a familiar setup, and See’s many readers will be pleased to see the continued development of Pearl and May’s relationship. Looks like another hit. (May)
Lisa See’s Dreams of Joy was chosen for TIME’s best of the summer:
See’s 2009 novel, Shanghai Girls, introduced us to Pearl and May, sisters who traveled from the turbulent China of the 1930s to the strange and scarcely less turbulent city of Los Angeles. This sequel adds to the mix Pearl’s 19-year-old daughter Joy, who makes the trip the other way — back to communist China in search of her father. 5/31
A Conversation with Lisa See and Her Mother, Author Carolyn See
Carolyn See: What fun it’s going to be to get to ask you some questions about this wonderful new edition of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan! God knows, we’ve already had plenty of conversations about it—I’ll be so interested to see some of your answers. Although you’re a little young to have produced a masterwork, I think Snow Flower plainly is one. I’m so proud of you! (But then, I always am.)
You know how much I admire the service you did for the Chinese-American community when you wrote On Gold Mountain, and I’m a huge fan of your thrillers. But Snow Flower is something different and far more profound. I’ve told you before, I think it compares to Andre Malraux’s Man’s Fate. It’s deep, honey! Tell me when, or even if, you first realized that Snow Flower was a different kettle of fish, that you were on to something really big.
Lisa See: I think of Snow Flower as part of a continuum, just the next step in my writing. On Gold Mountain was about my family, and very grounded in history. Snow Flower certainly has those same elements. At the same time, it’s very much a mystery. On page three you learn there’s a secret—a mystery, if you will—about what happened between Lily and Snow Flower, and the answer to it is hidden in the fan. That’s certainly the biggest mystery, but there are others, such as the truth of Snow Flower’s situation. I had to drop in clues for all of these things just as I did in my mysteries. What I’m saying is that I never could have written Snow Flower if I hadn’t written the other books first. CONTINUE READING
Want to read more of Shanghai Girls? Send an E-mail to RHPG@randomhouse.com and enter for the chance to win a special advance copy of Shanghai Girls, available in stores on 5/26/09. While supplies last.
In 1937, Shanghai is the Paris of Asia, full of great wealth and glamour, home to millionaires and beggars, gangsters and gamblers, patriots and revolutionaries, artists and warlords. Twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister May are having the time of their lives, thanks to the financial security and material comforts provided by their father’s prosperous rickshaw business. Though both wave off authority and traditions, they couldn’t be more different. Pearl is a Dragon sign, strong and stubborn, while May is a true Sheep, adorable and placid. Both are beautiful, modern, and living the carefree life … until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth, and that in order to repay his debts he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides. READ MORE.
Here is the info from the website:
It wouldn’t be summer without sun, surf and sizzling reading. You supply the beach chair and the sunblock, and we’ll provide the fantastic fiction in our Fourth Annual Beach Bag of Books feature and contests.
Every week, from May 16th through August 29th, a different title or collection of titles will be featured with a review and contest prize — a beach bag stocked with the featured book(s), plus summertime essentials that tie in to the weekly theme. Five FABULOUS beach bags will be given away each week, as well as five copies of the featured book(s) to additional winners.
» Click here to view a printable list of
If you’re interested in discussing all things Lisa See, her novels and more point your browser over to Google, where a discussion group has been formed. Click here.
Lisa See chats on BlogtalkRadio about Peony in Love. Click here to have a listen.