Friday, May 23, 2008

CW Celebrates Third Anniversary with Lisa See

Next month with will mark the third year of Charlotte Weekly/Union County Weekly's book club, Speaking Volumes. It's been an honor leading the club for these three years. And to celebrate we have a wonderful evening planned.

Best-selling author Lisa See's own life story is as interesting as the books she pens. And when she puts pen to paper it’s easy to see amazing results. Her latest novel, “Peony in Love” is Charlotte Weekly’s book club selection for June.

Ms. See was born in Paris but grew up in Los Angeles, spending much of her time in Chinatown. Her first book, "On Gold Mountain: The One Hundred Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family" traced the journey of Lisa’s great-grandfather, Fong See, who overcame obstacles at every step to become the 100-year-old godfather of Los Angeles’s Chinatown and the patriarch of a sprawling family. That book not only hit the top of the best-seller’s lists, it also became an opera, for which See wrote the libretto and it debuted in June 2000 at the Los Angeles Opera.

Following her nonfiction success, See, who was a journalist and book reviewer, decided to write novels including two mystery thrillers and the smashing hit “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.” With “Peony” See continues her historical fiction trip to China. This book takes place in 17th-century China in the Yangtzi River delta. It’s based on the true story of three "lovesick maidens," who were married to the same man – one right after the other, not one reaching age twenty. Together they wrote the first book of its kind to have been written and published anywhere in the world by women. Interestingly enough, the lovesick maidens were part of a much larger phenomenon. In the 17th century, there were more women writers in China who were being published than altogether in the rest of the world at that time. Ultimately, Peony in Love about the bonds of female friendship, the power of words, the desire that all women have to be heard, and finally those emotions that are so strong that they transcend time, place, and perhaps even death.

Join us as we discuss “Peony” with author Lisa See via a phone conference and celebrate CW’s third anniversary with wine and Chinese appetizers on Monday, June 23 at 7 p.m. Please R.S.V.P. by e-mailing alison@thecharlotteweekly.

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