Special to Iredell Free News

Mitchell Community College will host Zhuqing Li, professor of East Asian Studies and faculty curator of the Rockefeller Library at Brown University, to discuss her most recent book, “Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden: Two Sisters Separated by China’s Civil War” during a lecture and book signing event on September 29.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held at 6 p.m. in Shearer Hall on the Statesville Campus.

Li’s book is described by The New York Times as “riveting,” and by The Wall Street Journal as “enduring.” The Los Angeles Review of Books describes how Li’s “compelling” story “explores the momentous impact of momentary decisions on people’s lives in the context of massively disruptive historical events.”

In the book, Li shares the story of her two aunts, Jun and Hong, who grew up in an illustrious Chinese family and lived in a lush estate known as the Flower Fragrant Garden in China’s southeast coastal city of Fuzhou. But when Japanese forces occupy China alongside deprivations of World War II, civil war and revolution emerged, leading to the family’s exile from their garden paradise and their descent into poverty. The sisters demonstrate resilience and ambition in the face of adversity, becoming prominent in their respective careers and lives but are separated by circumstances beyond their control. The experiences of these two women, one determined to remember and the other determined to forget, ask us to reflect on the effects of civil unrest and social impact.

During the lecture, Li will share photos while leading a discussion on topics of diversity, family, remembering and forgetting, and finding strength in the face of adversity.

The Bookstore located in the Student Union on the Statesville Campus will be open prior to the event starting at 5:30 p.m. for any interested individual who wants to purchase Li’s book. The Bookstore will still be open after the lecture, and guests visit the Student Union for a meet-and-greet reception and book signing.

RSVP for this event at Mitchellcc.edu/Li

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