PASADENA-The Friends of the Caltech Libraries (FOCAL) will host author Lisa See at their annual speakers dinner on Thursday, December 3, at the Athenaeum on the Caltech campus. The dinner and talk, "Family Stories and Histories: How Ideas Become Books," will begin with a no-host reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The deadline for reservations is November 30.
Lisa See was born in 1955 and grew up in Los Angeles, spending much of her time in Chinatown. Her first book, On Golden Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family, was a national best-seller and a New York Times Notable Book of 1995. The book traces the journey of Lisa's great-grandfather, Fong See, who overcame obstacles at every step to become the 100-year-old godfather of Los Angeles's Chinatown and the patriarch of a sprawling family.
It was while collecting the details of her family history for On Golden Mountain that she developed the idea for her first novel, Flower Net, which was published in October 1997. Paramount Pictures bought the film rights to this riveting story of a murder investigation in today's China, and foreign rights were sold to 14 countries. Flower Net was a national best-seller, a New York Times Notable Book of 1997, on the Los Angeles Times Best Books List for 1997, and rated the top thriller of the year by amazon.com. Flower Net was also nominated for an Edgar Award for best first novel.
See is the coauthor of three previous books written under the pseudonym of Monica Highland, with her mother, Carolyn See, and John Espey. She was also the Publishers Weekly West Coast correspondent for 13 years. As a freelance journalist, her articles have appeared in Los Angeles Times Magazine, Washington Post Book World, and TV Guide. She is currently creating an exhibit on the Chinese American experience for the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, writing a libretto based on On Golden Mountain for the Los Angeles Opera, and working on her next thriller, to be published in October 1999. See lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.
Reservations are $58 ($48 for FOCAL members). Paid reservations should be made before FOCAL's November 30 deadline. For reservations and membership information, please contact K. C. McBride at (626) 395-6411.