Monday, December 17, 2018

12/17/18 @ 9:30am pst - Vanessa Hua, award-winning journalist, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, and author of the riveting new book A RIVER OF STARS joined host Janeane on KUCI 88.9fm

LISTEN to today's show
with Vanessa Hua!

Vanessa Hua, award-winning journalist, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, and author of the riveting new book A RIVER OF STARS. Vanessa was recently featured on NPR:
With so many Asian-American cultural references in the news lately— from Crazy Rich Asians to this recent piece on the one-child policy in the New York Times-- there is a lot for Vanessa to discuss...

With a bounty of research, Vanessa offers incredible depth and nuance to the immigrants' journey, examining the "cultural and economic forces that shape their worlds*" among other extremely timely issues.

“Hua wonderfully evokes the exigencies of lives at the margins of American culture by revealing Scarlett’s enduring ingenuity as she navigates near-destitute single motherhood.”

—Publisher’s Weekly

“Hua… offers a smooth, page-turning novel… A culturally adept work starring the irresistible Scarlett.”

—Library Journal

“Vanessa Hua’s debut is a vibrant, fascinating look into womanhood and how so many women's lives are shaped by their relationship to the powerful men within them. . . . Hua infuses this story with spirit and humor, exploring the ways in which pregnancy and motherhood can be both liberating and entrapping for the women who endure them. It’s a remarkable novel, one which makes clear the many ways in which women must struggle to make their lives their own.”


“A River of Stars splits ‘the Chinese immigrant story’ into a kaleidoscopic spectrum, putting human faces to the many groups—rich and poor, privileged and marginalized, documented and not—who come to America. Vanessa Hua's debut is an utterly absorbing novel about the ruthless love of parenthood and the universal truth that sometimes family runs deeper than blood alone.”

—Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You

“A River of Stars is a 21st-century immigrant story about the terror, drama, and desperation of being [here] and yet unable to leave.”

—Village Voice


Vanessa Hua

Ballantine Books Hardcover, On Sale August 14, 2018


Vanessa Hua’s A RIVER OF STARS (Ballantine; On Sale 8/14) is a powerful story of motherhood, immigration, and identity.

Scarlett Chen is on the run. She is eight months pregnant and stranded in Los Angeles after her married lover sends her to a secret maternity center to give birth, thus bestowing their baby with a priceless advantage: U.S. citizenship. But when she is betrayed, she flees, setting off a hunt for her and her unborn baby. In the stolen getaway van, Scarlett discovers a pregnant teenage stowaway, another escapee from the maternity center. Hiding out in San Francisco's Chinatown, they must reinvent themselves. In pursuit, Scarlett's lover treks from a crumbling Chinese village to a futuristic Silicon Valley genetics lab. He must decide where his true loyalties, and greatest love, lie--and Scarlett must stop running and commit to a future.

Told with empathy and wit, A RIVER OF STARS is an entertaining, wildly unpredictable adventure which is also timely. As we examine the rise of a new China and the perils faced by immigrants to the United States, reassess the role of women in the world, and contemplate what it means to be American, novels like Hua’s are more important than ever.

In an interview, Vanessa Hua will discuss:
China’s One Child Policy and reproductive choices

Controversy over so-called “anchor babies” and immigration policy

Asian-American culture in the United States and particularly in San Francisco

Untold stories from immigrants and the diaspora

Secret maternity tourism centers in Southern California

Vanessa Hua is an award-winning, best-selling author and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her novel, A River of Stars, was named to the Washington Post and NPR’s Best Books of 2018 lists, and has been called a "marvel" by O, The Oprah Magazine, and "delightful" by The Economist. Her short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities, received an Asian/Pacific American Award in Literature and was a finalist for a California Book Award.

For two decades, she has been writing about Asia and the diaspora, filing stories from China, Burma, Panama, South Korea, and Ecuador. She began her career at the Los Angeles Times before heading east to the Hartford Courant. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, San Francisco Magazine, Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Newsweek, among other publications.

A Bay Area native, she received a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award, the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan literary award, and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing. She is a graduate of Stanford University and UC Riverside's MFA program. Other achievements include the Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice coverage; the Asian American Journalists Association’s National Journalism Award — online/broadcast, print, and radio; the Society of Professional Journalists, the James Madison Freedom of Information Award, the San Francisco Press Club Greater Bay Area Journalism Award, San Francisco Press Club, and Best of the West. She was the Featured Literary Artist at APAture, an Asian American arts festival in San Francisco, and her short story collection was El Cerrito's pick for One City, One Book.

Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, ZYZZYVA, Guernica, The Sun, and elsewhere. She received an Emerging Writer Fellowship from Aspen Words, a fellowship at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a writer's residency at Hedgebrook, among other honors. She works and teaches at the Writers’ Grotto in San Francisco, and is on the faculty at the 2019 Tin House Winter Workshop and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.

Find her work at your local independent bookstore, Indiebound, and other online retailers.

Coming up 7/17/24 9:00am - Janeane chats with Producer Jay Silverman about his latest film CAMERA, starring Beau Bridges

‘CAMERA’ starring Beau Bridges, centers around a young mute boy who uses an old film camera to express his point of view, with the help of ...