Untold Stories of Female Friendship and Immigration: A Conversation with Lisa SeeVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
7 p.m. Moderated Discussion
7:45 p.m. Audience Q&A
Join Humanities Texas and Asia Society Texas Center for Untold Stories of Female Friendship and Immigration: A Conversation with Lisa See. Through her New York Times bestsellers, including Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, and The Island of Sea Women, Lisa See brilliantly illuminates the strong bonds between women, romantic love, and love of country. Having long been intrigued by stories that were lost, forgotten, or deliberately covered up, See will discuss with author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni her work and the themes of immigration, identity, and friendship that make her novels so compelling.
About the Speaker
In her beloved New York Times bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, Dreams of Joy, and China Dolls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the strong bonds between women. These books have been celebrated for their authentic, deeply researched, lyrical stories about Chinese characters and cultures. Now, in The Island of Sea Women, Ms. See writes about the free-diving women of South Korea’s Jeju Island.
Ms. See was born in Paris but grew up in Los Angeles. She lived with her mother but spent a lot of time with her father’s family in Chinatown. 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, 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.
Ms. See has led an active and varied career. She was the Publishers Weekly West Coast Correspondent for thirteen years. As a freelance journalist, her articles have appeared in Vogue, Self, and More, as well as in numerous book reviews around the country. She wrote the libretto for Los Angeles Opera based on On Gold Mountain, which premiered in June 2000 at the Japan American Theatre. She also served as guest curator for an exhibit on the Chinese-American experience at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, which then traveled to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., in 2001. Ms. See then helped develop and curate the Family Discovery Gallery at the Autry Museum, an interactive space for children and their families that focused on Lisa’s bi-racial, bi-cultural family as seen through the eyes of her father as a seven-year-old boy living in 1930s Los Angeles. She has designed a walking tour of Los Angeles Chinatown and wrote the companion guidebook for Angels Walk L.A. to celebrate the opening of the MTA’s Chinatown metro station. She also curated the inaugural exhibition—a retrospective of artist Tyrus Wong—for the grand opening of the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles.
Ms. See was honored as National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women in 2001, was the recipient of the Chinese American Museum’s History Makers Award in 2003, and received the Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California in 2017.She sits on the boards of Los Angeles Opera, National Historic Preservation Trust, and The Music Center. She is a member of The Trusteeship, an organization comprised of preeminent women of achievement and influence in diverse fields.
About the Moderator
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher of writing. Her work has been published in over 50 magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over 50 anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, the O.Henry Prize Stories and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her books have been translated into 29 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali, Russian and Japanese, and many of them have been used for campus-wide and city-wide reads. Several of her works have been made into films and plays. She lives in Houston with her husband Murthy and has two sons, Anand and Abhay. She loves to connect with readers on her Facebook page and on Twitter (@cdivakaruni).
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Major support for Performing Arts programs comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Ellen Gritz and Milton Rosenau, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment, The Hearst Foundation Inc., The Brown Foundation Inc., Mary Lawrence Porter, and the Anchorage Foundation of Texas. Generous funding also provided by AARP, The Clayton Fund, The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, Miller Theatre Advisory Board.Additional support provided by the Wortham Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts,United Airlines, The Southmore, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional programming and exhibitions to Asia Society Texas Center. This program is co-presented by Humanities Texas.
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