Here are three recent, remarkable works of fiction by authors who are bringing China of many generations to life for readers in the Western world. The stories range from the distant Mongolian steppes through east China to San Francisco, with a historical sweep that crosses much of the last century.
Virginia Pye, River of Dust
“On the windswept plains of northwestern China in 1910, Mongolian nomads swoop down upon an American missionary couple and kidnap their young child. In this story of retribution, these foreigners search for their lost son in a dangerous land that comes to haunt them and change not just what they believe but who they are.”
Lisa See, 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.” The friendship they form sustains them through trial and turmoil over the following fifty years.
Lisa reports that she is on her way to Yunnan to visit three of the Six Famous Tea Mountains for her next novel. “I’ll be staying in guest houses, visiting tea fermentation warehouses, trailing tea farmers as they go about their work, and sampling lots and lots of tea.” Take a look at Lisa’s Facebook page and her website.
Janie Chang, Three Souls
” ‘We have three souls, or so I’d been told. But only in death could I confirm this…’ So begins the haunting and captivating tale, set in 1935 China, of the ghost of a young woman named Leiyin, who watches her own funeral from above and wonders why she is being denied entry to the afterlife.”
In a recent blog entry, How to Help an Author, Janie has written a comprehensive list of things readers can do to help their favorite authors find a wider audience for their stories.