Audience:General / adult
Dimensions:9.53in x 6.4 x 1.2 in | 1.3 lb
Page Count:368 pages
FASCINATING HISTORICAL FICTION, BASED ON TRUE EVENTS: Hua did extensive research in China, inspired by the many young girls Mao took as lovers and sometimes kept on for extended periods as “confidential/private secretaries.”
PROMISING, PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR: Hua has won a 2020 NEA Fellowship in Literature, a Breadloaf Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, and was a New American Voices Award finalist.
AN AWARD-WINNING COLUMNIST FOR THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Since 2016 Hua has had a column every Friday in the paper’s Features Section, reflecting her identity as the daughter of Chinese immigrants and mother of two, focusing on diverse social justice issues, personal and societal.
MY FAIR LADY MEETS RAISE THE RED LANTERN: This is a modern Pygmalion set in Communist China, as well as the FRESHLY-TOLD STORY OF A STRONG IMMIGRANT WOMAN THAT IS DEEPLY RELEVANT TO TODAY.
HUA’S FIRST NOVEL, A RIVER OF STARS, was a NATIONAL BESTSELLER and chosen as a BEST BOOK OF 2018 by The Washington Post, NPR, Real Simple, and Entropy.
HER SHORT STORY COLLECTION, Deceit and Other Possibilities, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice pick, and winner of the ASIAN/PACIFIC AMERICAN AWARD FOR LITERATURE
“In…her masterful new novel Forbidden City, Vanessa Hua reflects that ‘fiction flourishes where the official record ends.’ Her novel bears this out: Hua dares to pen the story of the women who fought, sacrificed and endured during China’s Cultural Revolution…. Sweeping… [Hua’s] novel is eye-opening, vital and timely now more than ever.”—The Washington Post
“Make room for a new classic about China’s Cultural Revolution…. Think ‘Succession,’ but add death and mayhem to the palace intrigue…. The echoes [of time] I heard in Forbidden City—narcissistic leadership, a revenge-thirsty body politic, women and girls treated as things—both unsettled and compelled me to consider the present anew. I can think of no higher praise for this ambitious and impressive novel.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Ambitious…[Hua is a] quietly unstoppable author.”—Nob Hill Gazette
“Vanessa Hua has written a grand, cinematic, and captivating novel. With robust and compassionate imagination, Hua brings to life a heroine who has been relegated to the dustbins of history.”—Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings
“In this intriguing and suspenseful story, Hua tells of a girl who becomes a lover and worshipper of Chairman Mao, plotting revolution after revolution. How to negotiate the maze of the Forbidden City? How to escape?”—Maxine Hong Kingston, author of The Woman Warrior
“Forbidden City is a wonderful novel, immersive and fascinating. Vanessa Hua writes with an audacious mix of intimacy and narrative sweep about one of the most enigmatic figures and most misunderstood moments in history.”—Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins
“Arresting, beautiful, and epic, Forbidden City left me breathless by the last page. Hua’s writing is propulsive and packed with rich historical details and exquisitely crafted characters. Mei’s story will stay with you long after reading.”—Lara Prescott, author of The Secrets We Kept
“Gripping and vital, Forbidden City charts the sensual, intellectual, and moral awakening of a young woman who forges her own identity from beneath the shadow of Mao Zedong.”—C Pam Zhang, author of How Much of These Hills Is Gold
“Hua’s provocative latest (after A River of Stars) follows a bold and shrewd woman as she navigates China’s political scene amid the Cultural Revolution…. Hua masterly presents Mei’s attempts to leave the Lake Palaces with their ‘power, secrecy, and isolation’ behind as she processes her trauma. This finds a brilliant new perspective on familiar material via its story of a young woman’s brush with power. It’s magnificent.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)