Author(s): 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 different: Pearl is a Dragon sign, strong and stubborn, while May is a true Sheep, adorable and placid. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree . . . until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth and that in order to repay his debts he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides.
As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, one that will take them through the Chinese countryside, in and out of the clutch of brutal soldiers, and across the Pacific to the shores of America. In Los Angeles they begin a fresh chapter, trying to find love with the strangers they have married, brushing against the seduction of Hollywood, and striving to embrace American life even as they fight against discrimination, brave Communist witch hunts, and find themselves hemmed in by Chinatown's old ways and rules.
At its heart, Shanghai Girls is a story of sisters: Pearl and May are inseparable best friends who share hopes, dreams, and a deep connection, but like sisters everywhere they also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. They love each other, but each knows exactly where to drive the knife to hurt the other the most. Along the way they face terrible sacrifices, make impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are: Shanghai girls.
Praise for Shanghai Girls
"A buoyant and lustrous paean to the bonds of sisterhood."-Booklist
"A rich work . . . as compulsively readable as it is an enlightening journey."--Denver Post
For fans of The Joy Luck Club, The House on Mango Street and A Thousand Splendid Suns The striking new paperback look combines the appeal of Far Eastern and wartime fiction Snowflower and the Secret Fan has sold over 1.2 million copies worldwide, and Peony in Love is up to 500,000 copies to date. Both are New York Times bestsellers
'Part love story, part family saga, part historical fiction, this vividly descriptive book is above all an exploration of the trials and triumphs, the rivalries and delights of sisterhood' Daily Mail 'A triumph on every level, a beautiful heartbreaking story' Washington Post 'In this moving historical novel, Lisa See explores her Chinese-American roots and those of the Chinese who headed to California in the early 20th century in hopes of a better life ... See is a gifted writer' USA Today 'An engrossing tale of two sisters' Time
Lisa See is the author of five previous novels, including the critically acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Peony in Love and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (which was nominated for an Edgar Award), The Interior, and Dragon Bones. She is also the author of the widely acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. She lives in Los Angeles.