Lisa See's picture

Lisa See

USA flag (b.1955)

Lisa See is a Chinese American writer and novelist. The Chinese side of her family has had a great impact on her life and work.Her books include On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family (1995) and the novels Flower Net (1997), The Interior (1999), Dragon Bones (2003), Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005), Peony in Love (2007) and Shanghai Girls (2009), which made it to the 2010 New York Times bestseller list. Both Shanghai Girls and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan received honorable mentions from the Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature.Flower Net, The Interior, and Dragon Bones make up the Red Princess mystery series. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love focus on the lives of Chinese women in the 19th and 17th centuries respectively.See's latest novel, Shanghai Girls (2009), chronicles the lives of two sisters who come to Los Angeles in arranged marriages and face, among other things, the pressures put on Chinese-Americans during the anti-Communist mania of the 1950s.

Genres: Mystery, Literary Fiction, Romance, Historical
Non fiction
Lisa See recommends
War Trash (2004)
Ha Jin
"Ha Jin's historical novel about Chinese prisoners held during the Korean War couldn't be more topical. In telling this story from the loser's perspective, he has called upon all of his wonderful and impressive skills as a writer. He never shies away from the degradation of the prisoners, while at the time revealing small humanities that happen in even the most desperate of circumstances."
God of Luck (2007)
RuThanne Lum McCunn
"Beautifully combines the hardships and brutality of the kidnapping of a Chinese man, conditions on the slave ships, and the bitterness of backbreaking labor in a foreign land with the sadness and determination of a wife and family back home. . . . A story of emotional depth and truth."
The Street of a Thousand Blossoms (2007)
Gail Tsukiyama
"Tsukiyama has long been known for her emotional and detailed stories. This time, she has gone even deeper to explore what happens to ordinary people during fightening and tragic times."
One Amazing Thing (2010)
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
"One Amazing Thing is one powerful and beautifully written book. I loved it."
Blood Hina (2010)
(Mas Arai, book 4)
Naomi Hirahara
"Naomi Hirahara has done it again! It's wonderful to see relictant detective Mas Arai back in action... Blood Hina is a compelling mystery."
Wingshooters (2011)
Nina Revoyr
"Nina Revoyr is one of my favorite writers . . . Wingshooters is a gem of a novel filled with beautiful language, thoughtful observations on life, deep heartache, and determined acceptance."
Crazy Rich Asians (2013)
(Rich, book 1)
Kevin Kwan
"As spicily adventurous and lusciously satisfying as the renowned Singaporean street food Kevin Kwan’s characters argue over; hot and sizzling, like the best satay, and dreamily transporting, like everyone's favorite dessert—goreng pisang. Feast on this outrageously funny and insightful novel of modern manners, and enjoy!"
The Circle of Thirteen (2013)
Bill Petrocelli
"The Circle of Thirteen is a true celebration of the power of women in the face of great odds."
Crazy Blood (2016)
T Jefferson Parker
"A brave and daring writer."
Lilac Girls (2016)
(Caroline Ferriday, book 1)
Martha Hall Kelly
"Inspired by actual events and real people, Martha Hall Kelly has woven together the stories of three women during World War II that reveal the bravery, cowardice, and cruelty of those days. This is a part of history that should never be forgotten."
I Liked My Life (2017)
Abby Fabiaschi
"An emotional journey of love, loss, healing, and redemption. I rooted for every character."
The History of Bees (2017)
Maja Lunde
"The History of Bees is spectacular and deeply moving. Lunde has elegantly woven together a tale of science and science fiction, dystopia and hope, and the trials of the individual and the strengths of family."
Montauk (2019)
Nicola Harrison
"You don't have to go to Montauk to enjoy the beach. In this lovely debut novel, Nicola Harrison brings the beach to you, along with its people, its mores, and its contradictions. I so enjoyed Montauk, and I look forward to many more novels by Nicola Harrison."
The Library of Legends (2020)
Janie Chang
"Janie Chang has beautifully melded history and the spirit world to create an adventurous love story for all of us readers who love books and who, in a perfect world, would do anything to save them."
What Could Be Saved (2021)
Liese O'Halloran Schwarz
"What Could Be Saved transported me. Liese O'Halloran Schwarz's exquisite and memorable writing has me still thinking about the ways in which the past influences the present, the complexities of family life, and the ways we negotiate challenges, tragedies, and secrets."
All Sorrows Can Be Borne (2021)
Loren Stephens
"So many of us have suffered this past year or so. Many of us have had to dig deep within ourselves to learn how to bear sorrows and loss. Many of us have looked to the past for inspiration to get through difficult times. For all these reasons, Loren Stephens' All Sorrows Can Be Borne has come at the exact right time. Inspired by true events and real people, the story looks at pain and suffering but also the ultimate triumph of love, forgiveness, and compassion. I loved the book."
MacArthur Park (2021)
Judith Freeman
"Filled with gorgeous prose and deep emotion . . . Explores what it means to be an artist, delves into the vicissitudes of life and death, and takes us on journey through the splendor (and sometimes ugliness) of the American West—with dollops of Flaubert, Faulkner, Chekhov, Collette, and Chandler along the way."
Thank You, Mr. Nixon (2022)
Gish Jen
"I loved Thank You, Mr. Nixon so much that I find myself wishing for two things. One, that I could have the space in a review to praise it to the skies and back again. Two, that I could meet Gish Jen and talk to her into the wee hours about how she accomplished such a fantastic work. I?ve read a lot of novels that take place in China or are about the Chinese American experience. Never before have I seen the China of the last fifty years captured so well, in such an intricately and cleverly constructed plot, or with such understanding and deep wit, while the chapters that take place in the U.S. are current, spot on, and sometimes critical - all written with great love as the foundation. I'm overflowing with admiration."
The Fortunes of Jaded Women (2022)
Carolyn Huynh
"You can always count me in for a story about generations of cursed women, but I was surprised--and thoroughly delighted--to discover how much I would laugh out loud at the exploits of these mothers, daughters, and sisters. Carolyn Huynh's The Fortunes of Jaded Women is a terrific debut. I'm eager to read more from her."
In the Time of Our History (2023)
Susanne Pari
"Every family has secrets. Try as we might to keep them hidden, secrets have a way of being revealed--sometimes resulting in utter devastation, sometimes in forgiveness and understanding. Susanne Pari took me deep into these conflicts in her beautifully written novel, In the Time of Our History. Days later, I'm still thinking about the women--mothers and daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces--who inhabited these pages, the choices they made, and the love between them."

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