Thursday, January 12, 2023

Top ten books about California

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and the Last Hundred Years Trilogy: Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age. She is the author as well of several works of nonfiction and books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She lives in Northern California.

Smiley's newest book is A Dangerous Business.

At the Guardian she tagged ten books with "a vivid sense of the author’s love of California, along with a readiness to tell the truth and offer a critique." One title on the list:
China Dolls by Lisa See

It’s the 1930s, and three women in their late teens, Helen, Grace, and Ruby, want to gain some independence from the family traditions their parents have brought from China and Japan. They connect through dancing in a Chinese-American nightclub in San Francisco. The dramas of their lives, not only racism and the second world war, are riveting, each narrated in the first person, each doled out bit by bit to one another and to the reader. See’s deft exploration of the women’s psyches is compelling, as is her use of conversational slang of the time.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue