Zhuqing Li - Daughters of The Flower Fragrant Garden (Ferry Building Store)

Zhuqing Li

Daughters of The Flower
Fragrant Garden

An In-Person Event • Book Passage (SF Ferry Building)

Thurs., October 20th • 5:00pm PT

This event will be hosted live at Book Passage's San Francisco Store. Please contact webmaster@bookpassage.com with questions regarding live events.
 
*Please note that masks are recommended for all Ferry Building events.

Sisters separated by war forge new identities as they are forced to choose between family, nation, and their own independence.

Jun and Hong were scions of a once great southern Chinese family. Each other’s best friend, they grew up in the 1930s during the final days of Old China before the tumult of the twentieth century brought political revolution, violence, and a fractured national identity. By a quirk of timing, at the end of the Chinese Civil War, Jun ended up on an island under Nationalist control, and then settled in Taiwan, married a Nationalist general, and lived among fellow exiles at odds with everything the new Communist regime stood for on the mainland. Hong found herself an ocean away on the mainland, forced to publicly disavow both her own family background and her sister’s decision to abandon the party. A doctor by training, to overcome the suspicion created by her family circumstances, Hong endured two waves of “re-education” and internal exile, forced to work in some of the most desperately poor, remote areas of the country.

Ambitious, determined, and resourceful, both women faced morally fraught decisions as they forged careers and families in the midst of political and social upheaval. Jun established one of U.S.-allied Taiwan’s most important trading companies. Hong became one of the most celebrated doctors in China, appearing on national media and honored for her dedication to medicine. Niece to both sisters, linguist and East Asian scholar Zhuqing Li tells her aunts’ story for the first time, honoring her family’s history with sympathy and grace. Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden is a window into the lives of women in twentieth-century China, a time of traumatic change and unparalleled resilience. In this riveting and deeply personal account, Li confronts the bitter political rivals of mainland China and Taiwan with elegance and unique insight, while celebrating her aunts’ remarkable legacies.

Zhuqing Li is a professor of East Asian Studies at Brown University and the author of four scholarly books on Chinese linguistics. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

Zhuqing Li photo courtesy of Rebecca K. Andersen

 

Location: 

Book Passage Ferry Building
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden: Two Sisters Separated by China's Civil War By Zhuqing Li Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393541779
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 21st, 2022