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Book Talk: Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden with Zhuqing Li

October 12, 2022

On Tuesday, October 25, 2022, Professor Zhuqing Li joined UW’s China Studies and Taiwan Studies Programs for a Book Talk discussing her recent publication – Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden: Two Sisters Separated by China’s Civil War.

Professor Li shared her journey in trying to understand and reconstruct the near-century-long-lives of her two maternal aunts. Accidentally separated when China split in 1949, the two sisters, new college graduates at the time, refused to submit to the random power of history and fought their way to the elite echelons of the societies on the two sides of divided China. One became a successful capitalist and a devout Christian in Taiwan and later in America, and the other became a celebrated OB/GYN doctor in China and a dedicated Communist. In the end, however, the valiant efforts that had brought them success proved inadequate in finding a true reconciliation at their reunion after 33 years of complete separation.

This book talk has been privately archived at the request of Dr. Li.

Zhuqing Li is a visiting associate professor of East Asian Studies and faculty curator of East Asian Collections at the Brown University Library. Her main field of research is Chinese linguistics, especially dialectology. She has authored three academic books on Chinese linguistics and one on Chinese returnees. Her latest book, Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden: Two Sisters Separated by China’s Civil War, is a memoir about her two aunts whose lives, transformed by modern Chinese history, particularly the nation’s split in 1949, have come to illustrate the intricate relationship between China and Taiwan.

This event was made possible by the generous support of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.