Searching for: "Janet Song"

  • John Burnham Schwartz

    It is 1959 when Haruko, a young woman of good family, marries the Crown Prince of Japan, the heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne. She is the first non-aristocratic woman to enter the longest-running, almost hermetically sealed, and mysterious monarchy in the world. Met with cruelty and suspicion by the Empress and her minions, Haruko is controlled at every turn. The only interest the court has in her is her ability to produce an heir. After finally giving birth to a son, Haruko suffers a nervous breakdown and loses her voice. However, determined not to be crushed by the imperial bureaucrats, she perseveres. Thirty years later, now Empress herself, she plays a crucial role in persuading another...read more

  • Lisa See

    “I finally understand what the poets have written. In spring, moved to passion; in autumn, only regret.” For young Peony, betrothed to a suitor she has never met, these lyrics from The Peony Pavilion mirror her own longings. In the garden of the Chen Family Villa, a small theatrical troupe is performing scenes from this epic opera, a live spectacle few females have ever seen. Like the heroine in the drama, Peony is the cloistered daughter of a wealthy family, trapped like a good-luck cricket in a bamboo-and-lacquer cage. Though raised to be obedient, Peony has dreams of her own. Peony’s mother is against her daughter’s attending the production. But...read more

  • Haruki Murakami

    A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami’s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore. At its center are two sisters–Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny’s toward people whose lives are radically alien to her own: a jazz trombonist who claims they’ve met before, a burly female “love hotel” manager and her maid staff, and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman. After Dark moves from mesmerizing drama to...read more

  • Lisa See

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A gifted writer . . . explores the bonds of sisterhood while powerfully evoking the often nightmarish American immigrant experience.”—USA Today In 1937, Shanghai is the Paris of Asia, a city of great wealth and glamour, the home of millionaires and beggars, gangsters and gamblers, patriots and revolutionaries, artists and warlords. Thanks to the financial security and material comforts provided by their father’s prosperous rickshaw business, twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Though both sisters wave off authority and tradition, they couldn’t be more...read more

  • Lisa See

    “See paints a fascinating portrait of a complex and enigmatic society, in which nothing is ever quite as it appears, and of the people, peasant and aristocrat alike, who are bound by its subtle strictures.”—San Diego Union-Tribune While David Stark is asked to open a law office in Beijing, his lover, detective Liu Hulan, receives an urgent message from an old friend imploring her to investigate the suspicious death of her daughter, who worked for a toy company about to be sold to David’s new client, Tartan Enterprises. Despite David’s protests, Hulan goes undercover at the toy factory in the rural village of Da Shui, deep in the heart of China....read more

  • Lisa See

    When the body of an American archaeologist is found floating in the Yangzi River, Ministry of Public Security agent Liu Hulan and her husband, American attorney David Stark, are dispatched to Site 518 to investigate. As Hulan scrutinizes this death—or is it a murder?—David, on behalf of the National Relics Bureau, tries to discover who has stolen from the site an artifact that may prove to the world China’s claim that it is the oldest uninterrupted civilization on earth. This artifact is not only an object of great monetary value but one that is emblematic of the very soul of China. Everyone—from the Chinese government, to a religious cult, to an...read more

  • Lisa Dickey

    For the first time, Euna Lee—the young wife, mother, and film editor detained in North Korea—tells a harrowing, but ultimately inspiring, story of survival and faith in one of the most isolated parts of the world.   On March 17, 2009, Lee and her Current TV colleague Laura Ling were working on a documentary about the desperate lives of North Koreans fleeing their homeland for a chance at freedom when they were violently apprehended by North Korean soldiers. For nearly five months they remained detained while friends and family in the United States were given little information about their status or conditions. For Lee, detention would prove especially harrowing....read more

  • Lisa See

    In her beloved New York Times bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy. Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, and anger at her mother and aunt for keeping them from her, Joy runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth father—the artist Z.G. Li, with whom both May and Pearl were once in love. Dazzled by...read more

  • Suki Kim

    A haunting account of teaching English to the sons of North Korea's ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il's reign   Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields—except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a walled compound where...read more

  • Han Kang

    Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Publisher's Weekly •  Buzzfeed •  Entertainment Weekly •  Time •  Wall Street Journal •  Bustle •  Elle •  The Economist •  Slate •  The Huffington Post • The St. Louis Dispatch •  Electric Literature Featured in the New York Times selection of '15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century'  A beautiful, unsettling novel about...read more

  • Lisa See

    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a brilliantly realistic journey back to an era of Chinese history that is as deeply moving as it is sorrowful. With the period detail and deep resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha, this lyrical and emotionally charged novel delves into one of the most mysterious of human relationships: female friendship.  Lily is haunted by memories–of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness. In nineteenth-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in almost total seclusion, the women ...read more

  • William Andrews

    From the bestselling author of Daughters of the Dragon comes the story of one of the most extraordinary queens in history. As tensions rise on the Korean peninsula, US diplomat Nate Simon is sent to Seoul to gauge the political situation and advise the president. He also needs to find out why someone sent the president an ancient, intricately carved comb with an ivory inlay of a two-headed dragon. Though familiar with Korea’s language and culture, Nate knows little of its troubled history. Beautiful and mysterious embassy aide Anna Carlson believes it’s time he learns, starting with the extraordinary story of Korea’s last queen. Seoul, 1866. The beautiful orphan Ja-young...read more

  • Gish Jen

    Sixty-eight-year-old Hattie Kong, descendant of Confucius, daughter of an American missionary, has lived to see both her husband and her best friend die back-to-back in a single year: “It was like having twins…She got to book the same church with the same pianist for both funerals and did think she should have gotten some sort of twofer from the crematorium.” But two years later, it’s time for Hattie to start over. She moves to a small New England town where she is soon joined by a Cambodian American family and an ex-lover—now a retired neuroscientist—all of them looking for their own new lives. What Hattie makes of this situation and of the changing...read more

  • Susan McClelland

    Born in 1970s North Korea, Lucia Jang grew up in a typical household - her parents worked in the factories and the family scraped by on rations. Nightly, she bowed to her photo of Kim Il-Sung. It was the beginning of a chaotic period with a decade-long famine. Jang married an abusive man who sold their baby. She left him and went home to help her family by illegally crossing the river to China to trade goods. She was caught and imprisoned twice. After giving birth to a second child, which the government ordered to be killed, she escaped with him, fleeing under gunfire across the Chinese border. This demonstration of love and courage reflects the range of experiences many North Korean women...read more

  • Lauren Tarshis

    During the heart-stopping events of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, one boy struggles to make it out alive. The I Survived series continues with a terrifying recent international disaster. Eleven-year-old Japanese-American Owen has been in Japan for his sixth-grade year. By March he finally feels like he's getting the hang of the new culture, making friends at school and feeling at home with the "weird" food. But early one morning, everything changes--and Owen suddenly finds himself just trying to survive one of history's most devastating...read more

  • Mei Fong

    When Communist Party leaders adopted the one-child policy in 1980, they hoped curbing birth-rates would help lift China's poorest and increase the country's global stature. But at what cost? Now, as China closes the book on the policy after more than three decades, it faces a population grown too old and too male, with a vastly diminished supply of young workers. Mei Fong has spent years documenting the policy's repercussions on every sector of Chinese society. In One Child, she explores its true human impact, traveling across China to meet the people who live with its consequences. Their stories reveal a dystopian reality: unauthorized second children ignored by the state, only-children...read more

  • Roseann Lake

    Forty years ago in China, marriage was universal, compulsory, and a woman's only means to a livelihood. Enter the one-child policy, which despite its horrors, resulted in China's first generations of urban only-daughters?girls who were raised without brothers and pushed to study, achieve, and succeed as if they were sons. Fast forward to the present, where in an urbanized economic powerhouse, enough of these women have decided to postpone marriage?or not marry at all?to spawn a label: 'leftovers.' Unprecedentedly well-educated and goal-oriented, they struggle to find partners in a society where gender roles have not evolved as vigorously as the society itself. Part critique of China's...read more

  • Krys Lee

    Yongju is an accomplished student from one of North Korea's most prominent families. Jangmi has had to fend for herself since childhood, most recently by smuggling goods across the border. Danny is a Chinese-American teenager of North Korean descent whose quirks and precocious intelligence have long marked him as an outcast in his California high school. These three disparate lives converge when each of them travels to the region where China borders North Korea-Danny, to visit his mother, who is working as a missionary there, after a humiliating incident keeps him out of school; Yongju, to escape persecution after his father is killed at the hands of the Dear Leader himself; and Jangmi, to...read more

  • Nicole Chung

    Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as Nicole grew up-facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn't see, finding her identity as an Asian American and as a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from-she wondered if the story she'd been told was the whole truth. With the same warmth,...read more

  • Eugenia Kim

    In 1948 Najin and Calvin Cho, with their young daughter Miran, travel from South Korea to the United States in search of new opportunities. Wary of the challenges they know will face them, Najin and Calvin make the difficult decision to leave their other daughter, Inja, behind with their extended family; soon, they hope, they will return to her. But then war breaks out in Korea, and there is no end in sight to the separation. Miran grows up in prosperous American suburbia, under the shadow of the daughter left behind, as Inja grapples in her war-torn land with ties to a family she doesn't remember. Najin and Calvin desperately seek a reunion with Inja, but are the bonds of love strong...read more