Lisa See’s Dreams of Joy, A Captivating Tale of Chinese-American Love and Passion

February 29, 2012
Written by

Dreams of J oy by Lisa See
Dreams of Joy

(Random House February 2012)

Lisa See
New York Times bestselling
author Lisa See


“See paints a vivid portrait of communist China. Her rich detail and astonishing research of the time is breathtaking. Her exploration of the bonds between mother and daughter, heartbreaking.”
—USA Today

An exclusive Authorlink AUDIO interview with
Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author
March 2012 Authorlink Edition

Lisa See

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With each new novel, New York Times bestselling author Lisa See keeps getting better and better. Dreams of Joy, her sixth novel, is the story of longing for love and of the bonds that bind mother and daughter. The tale is set partly in China during the 1950's Great Leap Forward under Chairman Mao.

Newly uncovered family secrets send an idealistic 19-year-old girl named Joy to Communist China in search of her birth father. Sisters Pearl (Joy's mother) and May (Joy's real mother) are continuing characters from Lisa See's other highly successful novels.

Dazzled by her birth father, and blinded by idealism and defiance, Joy throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the Communist regime. Devastated by Joy’s flight and terrified for her safety, Pearl is determined to save her daughter, no matter the personal cost. From the crowded city to remote villages, Pearl confronts old demons and almost insurmountable challenges as she follows Joy, hoping for reconciliation. Yet even as Joy’s and Pearl’s separate journeys converge, as one of the most tragic episodes in China’s history threatens their very lives.

Today, more than 50 years later, China continues to be plagued by issues of censorship and human rights. In Dreams of Joy, Lisa See brings these important ideas to life in a novel that is as informative as it is entertaining and eloquent.  

In this audio interview, Lisa See talks about the inspiration for her latest work, the influences of her friend, bestselling novelist Amy Tan, and of her visit with Tan to a quiet village in China, as part of her impeccable research.

Ginger-haired Lisa, of Chinese decent but easily mistaken for Caucasian, talks openly about her own rejections and successes as a bestselling author, and encourages new writers to be certain they are deeply passionate about the stories they tell.

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Shanghai Girls, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles. Learn more at www.LisaSee.com.

–Doris Booth

 

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This post was written by Doris Booth