Discover ‘The Island of Sea Ladies’ with Lisa See

Good morning and welcome to the LA Times Book Club newsletter.

In her latest bestseller, Lisa See brings to life the fascinating but little-known story of the legendary divers on the Korean island of Jeju.

When the historical novel was published, many readers focused on the perseverance and physical courage of women in an unforgiving environment where a passing mistake can lead to death.

According to See, “The Island of Sea Women” has taken on a different meaning in a year of pandemic and political upheaval. The focus now is on the mental resilience, courage and persistence it took women to survive in a turbulent period that included the Japanese occupation in the 1930s, World War II, and the violent repression by the South Korean government.

“The people on Jeju Island and in Korea in general have really been through a lot,” See said in a new interview. “We are so happy as a country that we have never waged a war on our soil in our lives. But now, with the pandemic, we are also living in a moment of uncertainty. “

See joins the LA Times Book Club on Jan. 25 to review her work with Times culture columnist Mary McNamara. The free event will be streamed live on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at 7 p.m. PST. Sign up here.

Carolyn See’s daughter, Lisa See, entered the literary scene in 1995 with “On Gold Mountain,” a non-fiction book about the Chinese immigrant side of her family. Since then she has written a number of historical novels including “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”, “The Tea Maiden of Hummingbird Alley”, “Shanghai Girl” and “Dreams of Joy”.

Lisa See notes that historical fiction offers readers the opportunity to escape their real-world problems and immerse themselves in unknown worlds. “When neither of us can travel, it’s pretty nice to read a book that is in another country. Or has a different culture than the one you have in the four walls of your home, ”she says.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Puzzle class

Two days after our event with See, The Times will be hosting a class on January 27th to help aspiring writers work on their own novel for the New Year.

In the latest edition of the expert series We Can Teach You That, Southern California writer Joe Ide shows you how to write and sell a crime thriller.

Ide is the author of the IQ detective series and spent an evening in LA Noir with readers of the book club last March with writer Steph Cha and Times reporter Maria La Ganga.

In this new class, Ide will talk about his approach to storytelling, how to create action scenes, and how to create dynamic characters and sharp dialogue. He will also deal with the logistics of publishing and answer questions during the webinar.

The webinar starts on January 27th at 6 p.m. Sign up here.

Author Joe Ide

The writer Joe Ide in the South Central neighborhood where he grew up.

(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Continue reading

Tom Hanks and Ann Patchett: Enjoy this must-see Harper story about the actor’s unexpected collaboration with the turned-bookseller author.

Hawley’s book plans canceled: Simon & Schuster this week dropped plans to publish a book by Senator Josh Hawley, the Republican from Missouri, who sought to dismiss the presidential election results. Hawley replied, “See you in court!”

Stacey Abrams new thriller: With democratic victories in the two Georgian runoff elections, the voting leader has another important date on the horizon: her latest novel “While Justice Sleeps” is planned for May 11th.

A New Short Story: LA writer and youngest National Book Award winner Charles Yu imagines life 1000 years in the future in the new story “The Only Living Girl on Earth.” Entertainment Weekly publishes an excerpt.

Best Places to Visit for 2021: Frommer invited famous authors to share essays on their America.

The final word: “We are modelers, and when our patterns are beautiful and graceful, they can bring a person for whom the world is broken and disorganized to life from his knees,” said author and world traveler Barry Lopez, quoted in Pam Houston’s appreciation. Lopez died on Christmas Day at the age of 75.

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