by Anna Clark
- USA -
Meet Lisa See—if you aren't already among her millions of fans around the world. Born in Paris and raised in Los Angeles, where she lives today, See is the New York Times bestselling author of Peony in Love and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, two novels that elevate the stories of Chinese-American history. She was named National Woman of the Year in 2001 by the Organization of Chinese American Women, and was the recipient of the Chinese American Museum’s History Makers Award in 2003.
See’s new novel, Shanghai Girls, follows the lives of Pearl and May Chin—two sisters enjoying the glamorous life of “the Paris of Asia”—Shanghai in 1937. Their father owns a prosperous rickshaw business while the sisters, as “Beautiful Girls,” pose in silk dresses for paintings on cigarette and soap ads.
Pearl and May don’t know it yet, but their lives are on the brink. Japan will soon invade China, bringing a world war to their country, and they are about to set off on a terrifying journey that takes them through wartime China, across the Pacific Ocean, and through interrogation and detainment at Angel Island (called the Ellis Island of the West). They find Los Angeles’ China City, experience the odd relationship between Hollywood and Chinese actresses, and brave the Communist witch-hunts that targeted Chinese during the 1950s. Shanghai Girls focuses on the tense and loving relationship of sisters in an epic context of war, immigration, racism, wealth and marriage.