Lisa See Author Biography Essay

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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 Shangai 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. See is currently working on a sequel.

Writing under the pen name Monica Highland, See, her mother Carolyn See, and John Espey, published three novels: Lotus Land (1983), 110 Shanghai Road (1986), and Greetings from Southern California (1988). She has written a personal essay ("The Funeral Banquet") for Half and Half.

See has donated her personal papers (1973—2001) to UCLA.

Biography   more �   ï¿½ less

Lisa See was born in Paris February 18, 1955, but has spent many years in Los Angeles, especially Los Angeles Chinatown. Her mother, Carolyn See, is also a writer and novelist. Her autobiography provides insight into her daughter's life. Lisa See graduated with a B.A. from Loyola Marymount University in 1979.

See was West Coast correspondent for Publishers Weekly (1983—1996); has written articles for Vogue, Self, and More; has written the libretto for the opera based on On Gold Mountain, and has helped develop the Family Discovery Gallery for the Autry Museum, which depicts 1930s Los Angeles from the perspective of her father as a seven-year-old boy. Her exhibition On Gold Mountain: A Chinese American Experience was featured in the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, and the Smithsonian. See is also a public speaker.

She has written for and led in many cultural events emphasizing the importance of Los Angeles and Chinatown. Among her awards and recognitions are the Organization of Chinese Americans Women's 2001 award as National Woman of the Year and the 2003 History Makers Award presented by the Chinese American Museum. See serves as a Los Angeles City Commissioner.

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Bibliography   more �   ï¿½ less

  • On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese American Family. St. Martins Press, 1995.
  • Flower Net. HarperCollins, 1997.
  • The Interior. HarperCollins, 1999.
  • Dragon Bones. Random House, Inc., 2003.
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Random House, Inc., 2005.
  • Peony in Love. Random House, Inc., 2007.
  • Shanghai Girls. Random House, Inc., 2009.
  • Chinatown (guidebook), Angels Walk LA, 2003.

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Notes   more �   ï¿½ less

Lisa See on Her Life and Work

  • See interview in BookBrowse
  • Lisa See, "The Funeral Banquet", Half and Half, pp. 125-138. Edited by Claudine Chiawei O'Hearn. New York: Pantheon Books, 1998
  • "Lisa See at the Mercantile Library" (video), 09/18/2008
  • See interviewed by Ron Hogan, 1996
  • Elisabeth Sherwin, "See The Interior through the eyes of someone who's been there", 11/14/1999
  • Lisa See, "China's Lovesick Maidens" (video)
  • "Lisa See: Author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Waterbridge Review, 09/2005
  • "Lisa See with Daniel Olivas." "The Elegant Variation", 10/03/2007
  • Lisa See on Peony in Love Blog Talk Radio, 07/01/2008
  • "A Conversation with Carolyn and Lisa See"
  • Diana Raabe, "Seeing Ghosts: A Conversation with Author Lisa See", 05/10/2008
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This author page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lisa See", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

Total Books:120

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, Dreams of Joy, and China Dolls. Her most recent novel, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, will be released by Scribner in March 2017. Booklist has said of the new novel, “See’s focus on the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters, by birth and by circumstance, becomes an extraordinary homage to unconditional love.” Ms. See has also written a mystery series that takes place in China, as well as On Gold Mountain, which is about her Chinese-American family. Her books have been published in 39 languages. Ms. See was honored as National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women in 2001, was the recipient of the Chinese American Museum’s History Makers Award in 2003, and is slated to receive the Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California in 2017.


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