Sunday, May 05, 2024

Seven novels about women chasing love abroad

Juli Min is a Korean-American writer based in Shanghai. She holds an MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson, and she studied Russian and comparative literature at Harvard University.

Her new novel is Shanghailanders.

At Electric Lit Min tagged seven books:
[all are] narratives about women pursuing love in foreign countries (and, in one case, foreign universes). All these novels follow characters experiencing literal and emotional displacement. They are met with the challenge of redefining their relationships, and themselves, on new grounds.
One title on the list:
The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee

The Expatriates rotates perspectives between several women expats living in Hong Kong who are forced to redefine what love means in their changing lives. One is grieving from the disappearance of her youngest child; one is closing the last chapter on an unhappy marriage; one is suffering from guilt and shame from a set of disastrous actions. Hong Kong, with its particular brand of wealth and privilege and cosmopolitanism, provides both the structure and the seductions for the dramatic events of the novel. Ultimately, the book lands on an exploration of what motherhood means across cultures, and what it teaches us about how to handle life’s slings and arrows: with grace and forgiveness.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue