Oklahoma City University News
Best-Selling Author Lisa See to Speak at OCU
An author who has multiple books on best-selling lists will speak about her works during a presentation at Oklahoma City University Sept. 16.
Lisa See, author of “Shanghai Girls,” “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” “On Gold Mountain” and other novels, will speak in the Kerr-McGee Auditorium at 8 p.m. The auditorium is in the Meinders School of Business at N.W. 27th Street and Blackwelder Avenue. The event is free to the public.
“We’re excited to bring such a talented writer and Chinese-American culture expert,” said Roxanne Reed, director of the Fine Arts Institute at OCU. “Lisa See has a deep perspective of a unique cultural group, and her books are a heartfelt reflection of that.”
“Shanghai Girls,” See’s latest work, was an instant New York Times best seller. It is a story about two Chinese sisters who leave their city when the Japanese attack during the late 1930s. The young women make their way to the streets of Los Angeles and struggle to live in their new homes.
“On Gold Mountain” is another book in which See used a theme of Chinese immigrants seeking to fulfill their personal visions of the American dream, although on a more personal level. The book traces the journey of See’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.
See was born in Paris but grew up in Los Angeles, spending much of her time in Chinatown. While collecting the details for “On Gold Mountain” she developed the idea for her first novel, “Flower Net,” which was a national bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and on the Los Angeles Times Best Books List for 1997.
In addition to writing books, See was the Publishers Weekly West Coast Correspondent for 13 years. As a freelance journalist, her articles have appeared in Vogue, Self, More and 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 followed by the Irvine Barclay Theatre. She also served as guest curator for an exhibit on the Chinese-American experience for the Autry Museum of Western Heritage.
In addition, 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. She curated the inaugural exhibition – a retrospective of artist Tyrus Wong – for the grand opening of the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles.
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 the recipient of the Chinese American Museum’s History Makers Award in 2003.