This week C.O.R.A Diversity Roll Call is being hosted over at Color Online In honor of the May being Asian Heritage month, we are to focus on an author from that region. I'll going to mention two books, one I read years ago, and the other I finished recently. When I first heard the call my first thought was Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama I read this years ago and absoultely loved it. I still enjoy recommading it to customers. When I picked it up I knew nothing about the book. Though I did assume it would be set in Japan because of the author's last name. When I discovered it set in 1926 China, I fliped to the authors bio page in the back. Gail Tsukiyma has a Chinese mother and Japanese father. Women of the Silk is the story of a group of women who work in a silk factory and are bonded by friendship. Tsukiyama writing was close to perfect. I was reminded of Ann Patchett's writing in Bel Canto. Both authors went with a make every word count approach. I cried so hard at the end of Women of the Silk. The author truly made me care about the characters.
I recently finished The Eye of Jade by Diane Wei Liang Its set in 90's Beijing Mei Wang a former police officer is now a private investigator. You may not know this about me but I love mysteries. P.I. ones are some of my favorites especially ones with female progtaginist. Mei Wang is a smart and independent woman who doesn't worry about what other people think. She hired a male assistant from the country which is very unheard of. A close family friend Uncle Chen hires Mei to find jade that was supposedly destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Eye of Jade is a great modern day mystery that touches upon China's history. Mei Wang has all the important characteristics of a P.I. The author, Diane Wei Lang was born in China and spent part of her childhood with her parents in a China labor camp.