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Lisa See        

Author of "Snow Flower" and "Secret Fan"

Lisa See was born in Paris but grew up in Los Angeles, spending much of her time in Chinatown. Her lyrical "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan," a novel about "nu shu," the secret writing developed and used by women in a small county in China for over a thousand years has become a national bestseller.

Her previous book "On Gold Mountain: The One Hundred Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family," was a national bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book of 1995. 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.

Paramount Pictures bought the films right to her riveting story of a murder investigation in today's China from her first novel, "Flower Net." It was a national bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book of 1997, a Los Angeles Times Best Books for 1997, and was rated the top thriller of the year by "Flower Net" was also nominated for an Edgar award for best first novel.

See is also the author of "The Interior," a story about the sometimes blind love between a mother and daughter, the clash of global financial empires, and how the past can sometimes come back to haunt us. Dragon Bones is set against the building of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangzi River. The novel combines ancient myth and contemporary fears of religious fanaticism and terrorism to tell a story of love, betrayal, history, ecology, and gory murders. Author Ha Jin has said of the book: "Mixing history, myths, and current events, Dragon Bones is an extraordinarily rich novel. It reveals the emotional and economical entanglement of China with the West, and tells a story of violence, lust, greed, fear and desperation."

In addition to writing books, See was the Publishers Weekly West Coast Correspondent for thirteen years. As a freelance journalist, her articles have appeared in Vogue, Self, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Washington Post Book World, and TV Guide.

See wrote the libretto for Los Angeles Opera based on On Gold Mountain and she also served as guest curator for an exhibit on the Chinese American experience for the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, which then traveled to the Smithsonian Institution. See then helped develop and curate the Family Discovery Gallery at the Autry Museum, an interactive space for children and their families that focuses on Lisa's bi-racial, bi-cultural family as seen through the eyes of her father as a seven-year-old boy living in 1930's Los Angeles.

She recently 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 new Chinatown metro station. Presently, she is curating the inaugural exhibition?a retrospective of artist Tyrus Wong?for the grand opening of the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles in the winter of 2003. See serves as a Los Angeles City Commissioner on the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Monument Authority. She was honored as National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women in 2001 and was also the recipient of the Chinese American Museum's History Makers Award in Fall 2003.

Speech Topics

Forgotten History: The Lost Stories of Women's Lives in China

Who Are We? Defining Our Identities in a Bicultural World

Friends, Sisters, and Mothers: The Bonds of Female Friendship

The Chinese-American Experience in America


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