THE SAN DIEGO PARTICIPANT OBSERVER Participant Observation is the Process of Learning by Observing and Participating in Cultural Life
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An Exclusive Interview with Author Lisa See
by tjon on 07/09/2009 3:48 PM
Lisa See, the author of the international best-seller, "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" (2005) and New York Times best-seller "Peony in Love" (2007), had time to sit down and answer a few questions while in San Diego, the last stop on her tour for her latest novel, Shanghai Girls (2009), now in bookstores. In this interview we discuss the variety of elements found in her novels, including the women whose voices narrate her works, and the exploration and revelation of forgotten parts of history. Her works explore pockets of history and time within Chinese culture before they disappear, as See puts it, "off the map of memory". "Shanghai Girls" is the story of two sisters, Pearl and May, and their odyssey of immigration as they leave war-torn Shanghai for Los Angeles as new brides in arranged marriages. See chronicles the joy, the heartbreak, and the bond of sisterhood that connects Pearl and May over the next twenty years as they experience the making of a new life, and the formulation of a new identity. To learn more about Lisa See and her works, please visit:
By Christine V. Nguyen

CVN: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. What inspires you about the culture and time period of your novels?

LS: Well you know I have written about different time periods. For this particular one, I think there were three or four things that inspired me to do this particular book. One was to write about Shanghai at that time in 1937, that

Shanghai Girls
CVN: How would you characterize the nature of the culture you write of

CVN: In reading some of your research, I

CVN: Was that ever hard for you, to contend with a perspective that

CVN: We talked about China City a little, which doesn

CVN: Was it almost like writing about a home that doesn

CVN: I was reading an interview where you talked about all the
Christine Nguyen and Lisa See

CVN: Where have you been that you

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