A language kept a secret for a thousand years forms the backdrop for the remarkable novel of two Chinese women whose friendship and love sustains them through their lives.
This unforgettable novel takes place in nineteenth-century China when girls had their feet bound and lived in almost total seclusion. Some girls were paired as “old-sames” in emotional matches that lasted all of their lives. The women in one remote county developed their own secret code for communication: nu shu (“women’s writing”). They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories in hopes of sharing their dreams and accomplishments.
An old woman reflects on her relationship with her “old-same”, their arranged marriages, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood—until a terrible misunderstanding written on their secret fan threatens to tear them apart. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan delves into one of the most mysterious and treasured relationships of all time—female friendship.
Lisa See was born February 18, 1955 in Paris, France. She is the author of Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles.