|Publisher:||Random House Inc|
|Publish Date:||May 2009|
|Number of Pages:||276|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.7|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.75 x 8.25 x 1.0|
Lisa See was born in Paris but grew up in Los Angeles, spending much of her time in Chinatown. She is of Chinese decent. Her first book, On Gold Mountain: The One Hundred Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family (1995), was a national bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book. The book traces the journey of Lisa's great-grandfather, Fong See. Her first fiction novel, Flower Net (1997) was a national bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and on the Los Angeles Times Best Books List for 1997. Flower Net was also nominated for an Edgar award for best first novel.
In addition to writing books, Ms. See was the Publishers Weekly West Coast Correspondent for 13 years. Her bestselling novels, all inspired by her Chinese heritage, include Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, A Peony in Love, Shanghi Girls and Dreams of Joy.
Foot binding; nu shu, a secret language used exclusively by the women of Hunan Province for 1000 years; and lao tong, the arranged friendship between little girls meant to last a lifetime, provide the framework for See's (Dragon Bones) riveting look at a little-known chapter in 19th-century Chinese history. In 1903, 80-year-old Lily looks back on her life, which was anchored by her lao tong relationship with the beautiful Snow Flower.
As little girls, the two communicated in nu shu, writing of their mutual devotion on a fan they passed between each other over the years. Raised according to the traditional restrictions of the times, they lived most of their lives confined to the upstairs women's chamber in their homes, enduring the relentless societal insistence that women are worthless except for their value in producing sons. The lao tong bonds of Lily and Snow Flower endure through family tragedies, a typhoid-fever epidemic, and the Taiping Rebellion of 1851-64, but it is a misunderstood message in nu shu, the language that held them together for decades, that ultimately tears them apart. See's meticulous research and exquisite language deliver a story that is haunting, powerful, and, at times, almost too painful to bear. Highly recommended.
- Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI
(c). Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In 19th-century China, girls with bound feet were often paired in lifelong relationships and in one locale even devised their own language. See tells us the story of one pair who inscribed secret letters on fans and very nearly lost each other through a terrible misunderstanding. With a ten-city tour.
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