The Resource China Dolls : a novel, Lisa See

China Dolls : a novel, Lisa See

Label
China Dolls : a novel
Title
China Dolls
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Lisa See
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • "The New York Times bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony In Love, Shanghai Girls, and Dreams of Joy returns with her highly anticipated new novel. A bold and bittersweet story of secrets and sacrifice, love and betrayal, prejudice and passion, China Dolls reveals a rich portrait of female friendship, as three young women navigate the "Chop Suey Circuit"--America's extravagant all-Asian revues of the 1930s and '40s--and endure the attack on Pearl Harbor and the shadow of World War II"--
  • "In 1938, Ruby, Helen and Grace, three girls from very different backgrounds, find themselves competing at the same audition for showgirl roles at San Francisco's exclusive "Oriental" nightclub, the Forbidden City. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family who have deep roots in San Francisco's Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese. At times their differences are pronounced, but the girls grow to depend on one another in order to fulfill their individual dreams. Then, everything changes in a heartbeat with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Suddenly the government is sending innocent Japanese to internment camps under suspicion, and Ruby is one of them. But which of her friends betrayed her?"--
Storyline
Writing style
Character
Award
LibraryReads Favorites, 2014
Review
  • The lives of three young Chinese-American women—Grace, Helen, and Ruby—intersect in valuable and often violent ways in pre-WWII San Francisco as they shed their drab former lives to become glamorous entertainers at the city’s rising hot spot, the Forbidden City nightclub. Despite their divergent backgrounds, a mutual desire to shatter the cultural stereotypes that doom them to lives of familial subservience feeds their ambition to prosper in a world in which the definition of success changes minute by minute. Though they’ve taken a “one for all” vow of eternal loyalty, each harbors secrets that cause a pervasive atmosphere of distrust to simmer just below the surface. When Ruby is revealed to actually be of Japanese heritage and deported to an internment camp, their friendships and fortunes suffer a mortal blow, one that only deepens as the war rages on. In her impeccably researched and distinctive historical saga of desire and ambition, betrayal and revenge set amid the glitz and debauchery of burlesque entertainment on the “chop suey circuit,” See (Dreams of Joy, 2011) again lavishly explores the thorny intricacies of female friendships. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The alluring setting of always-popular Lisa See’s latest work of women-oriented historical fiction will be vigorously promoted in print, radio, and online as the author embarks on a 10-city tour. -- Haggas, Carol (Reviewed 04-15-2014) (Booklist, vol 110, number 16, p23)
  • Set in 1938 San Francisco, this book follows the lives of three young women up through WWII. Grace travels to California seeking stardom, where she meets Helen, a young woman from Chinatown, and the two find jobs as nightclub dancers. While auditioning, they cross paths with Ruby, and the book alternates between all three viewpoints. Lisa See is one of my favorite authors, and her newest title doesn't disappoint. -- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA. (LibraryReads, June 2014)
  • /* Starred Review */ In the beginning of See’s (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan ) stellar ninth book, three young women, Grace, Helen, and Ruby, meet and form an unlikely but strong bond in San Francisco in 1938, as the Golden Gate International Exhibition is about to open. Grace has run from an abusive father in the Midwest; Helen is trapped by her traditional family in Chinatown after a devastating loss; Ruby is Japanese, desperate to pass as Chinese to stay employed as the U.S. moves closer to war with Japan. They become performers at the Forbidden City Nightclub and face the difficulty of being Asian in an Occidental world, as well as the additional conflict of prejudice within their own community. The novel spans 50 years, following the women’s tumultuous personal lives and roller-coaster career choices. Yet somehow the three always find a way back to each other, and come through for each other in the darkest of times. The story alternates between their viewpoints, with each woman’s voice strong and dynamic, developing a multilayered richness as it progresses. The depth of See’s characters and her winning prose makes this book a wonderful journey through love and loss. (June) --Staff (Reviewed March 17, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 11, p)
  • The Chinese American nightclub era comes to life in See's (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan ) latest novel, which revolves around three young women coming of age in San Francisco during World War II. Grace, Helen, and Ruby meet and become instant friends while auditioning as showgirls at the Forbidden City, a Chinese nightclub and cabaret. But then the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor happens, and everything changes. The girls soon discover that they each carry secrets that will shake one another to the core. As the world slips further into war and tensions regarding Asian Americans rise, each woman's livelihood, heart, and strength will be tested. Can the seductive Ruby, dutiful Helen, and "white-washed" Grace find a way to keep their friendship alive? VERDICT While this novel is definitely slower paced than the author's prior works, See's many fans will still enjoy watching each protagonist's true story unfold; they will also be intrigued by the vivacity of the "Chop Suey Circuit." These colorful and fascinating historical touches tie the story together perfectly and form an exquisite backdrop for the adventures of the three friends. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/13.]— Chelsie Harris, San Diego Cty. Lib. --Chelsie Harris (Reviewed April 15, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 7, p80)
  • See's latest follows three Asian-American showgirls whose dreams are derailed then reset by the onset of World War II. In the late 1930s, Grace, a talented dancer, comes to San Francisco from Ohio to flee the beatings of her father. Helen, who fled China under circumstances not immediately revealed, lives with her parents and extended family in a Chinatown compound. Ruby defies her parents, who plan to return to Japan, by staying in San Francisco to pursue a showbiz career. The three young women meet while auditioning for jobs in a new "Oriental" nightclub, Charlie Low's Forbidden City, which will feature an all-Asian cast of chorines, ballroom dancers, chanteuses and crooners. Grace and Helen are cast, but Ruby is not—because of Japanese aggression in China, Chinatown is hostile toward all Japanese. She finds a job dancing semi-nude in Sally Rand's traveling show. Ruby and Grace fall out over a man, Joe, a lo fan ("white ghost," or Caucasian), and Grace and Helen strive to break into movie musicals. However, racial barriers in Hollywood are insurmountable, and they return to Forbidden City. There, Ruby, now headlining as Chinese Princess Tai, performs a Rand-inspired bubble dance, employing a large beach ball as her gimmick. Grace becomes Ruby's dresser, and Helen dances backward in high heels as the partner of Eddie, billed as the Chinese Fred Astaire, whom she marries. After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government, fearing an enemy invasion, interns all Japanese residents of the West Coast, whether U.S. citizens or not, in camps. Ruby's Chinese disguise works for a while, until it doesn't, and she's arrested and interned in Utah. For Grace, Ruby and Helen, the war will bring more upheavals—and opportunities. The episodic and creaky plot staggers under the weight of See's considerable research into the careers and lifestyles of the actual stars of the all-Asian revue craze of the 1930s and '40s. Still, a welcome spotlight on an overlooked segment of showbiz history.(Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2014)
Assigning source
  • Provided by publisher
  • Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10307678
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
See, Lisa
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Female friendship
  • Chinese American women
  • Japanese American women
  • Betrayal
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • FICTION
  • FICTION
  • FICTION
  • Betrayal
  • Chinese American women
  • Female friendship
  • Japanese American women
  • Roman
  • Amerikanisches Englisch
  • Chinatown (San Francisco, Calif.)
  • California
Label
China Dolls : a novel, Lisa See
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1019603
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
383 pages
Isbn
9780812992892
Lccn
2013050796
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
40023903798
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780812992892
  • (OCoLC)866803617
Label
China Dolls : a novel, Lisa See
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1019603
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
383 pages
Isbn
9780812992892
Lccn
2013050796
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
40023903798
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780812992892
  • (OCoLC)866803617

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