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TWE RADIO: Bestselling Author Lisa See On the Remarkable Sea Women of Jeju Island

Lisa See and Yun Mija, one of the haenyeo (sea women) of Jeju Island, South Korea, /Photo: Courtesy Lisa See

Lisa See and Yun Mija, one of the sea women of Jeju Island, South Korea /Photo: Courtesy Lisa See

By Stacey Gualandi/May 30, 2019

Don’t miss my BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye with New York Times bestselling author Lisa See. Her newest novel The Island of Sea Women has already been honored as an “Indie Next pick” by Independent booksellers, and Barnes & Noble chose the novel for its nationwide March 2019 Book Club.

See is currently on a very busy national tour promoting The Island of Sea Women, the story of a lifelong relationship between two best girlfriends set against the real-life backdrop of the little-known free-diving women of South Korea’s Jeju Island.

Book Cover of Lisa See's new book, Island of Sea Women of Jeju IslandSee’s eleventh book is a close examination of the female bond and forgiveness on a personal level. She says the theme of forgiveness truly “permeates the entire book.”

“I have been so touched on this tour by how far people have come to hear me,” says See.

“I think it’s because I am writing about women in a way … that people can really connect their own lives to these fictional characters. They think about, ‘What would I do in that situation?’”

Lisa See has been a good friend to The Women’s Eye since 2011 when she first joined me to talk about for her #1 novel Dreams of Joy. More recently, she was kind enough to write a quote for the cover of our book 20 Women Changemakers.

Needless to say, it was our pleasure to have See back to talk about her latest work of historical fiction.

Lisa on her trip to visit the sea women, Jeju Island/Photo Courtesy: Lisa See

Lisa on her trip to visit the sea women, Jeju Island/Photo Courtesy: Lisa See

See says she spent eight years writing and doing extensive research for this historical novel. She even visited the island and witnessed first-hand the elderly women who are still diving to harvest seaweed – all while holding their breath for up to three minutes at a time.

“I wanted to capture it while I still could,” says See of the hundreds-of-years-long tradition that could die out in 15 years.

Be sure to listen to our interview to find out why See prefers fiction (“there is an emotional connection that I don’t get with non-fiction”), why she writes the book’s last line first, and how many years she has been working on her next book (26!). Then read The Island of Sea Women! (And yes, she still types using only three fingers!)

Lisa with TWE's Pam Burke at Poisoned Pen Bookstore, March, 2019

Lisa with TWE’s Pam Burke at Poisoned Pen Bookstore, March, 2019

To learn more about Lisa See, Jeju Island and the remarkable history of the sea women, click here: www.lisasee.com.

TWITTER: lisa_see

FACEBOOK: lisaseebooks

INSTAGRAM: lisasee_writer/

Bestselling Author Lisa See Explores the Bond Between Mothers and Daughters

Lisa See, author/Photo: P. Burke

Lisa See at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale, Arizona/Photo: P. Burke

UPDATE: Lisa’s new book The Island of Sea Women is out March 5, 2019.  Looks fascinating!

By Patricia Caso/June 6, 2017
Photos provided by Lisa See (@Lisa_See)

TWE’s Stacey Gualandi’s wonderful interview with the New York Times bestselling author, Lisa See, posted in 2011. Since then Lisa has written several more compelling historical fiction books, the latest being The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.

“I feel with every book, I put in everything I ever knew into it. Yet I am still growing and changing from that first book to now. Life changes…even in these last three years, I have learned new things.” Lisa See

This time Lisa, who continues to explore women’s relationships and the concept of mother-love, writes about China’s transnational adoption with a backdrop of the little known Akha people and the tea pickers of an ancient tea, Pu’er. I wanted to find out what more she has uncovered personally and professionally on her themes of women’s friendships and her interest in the dual cultures of China and America… [Read more…]

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Allison DuBois

Allison DuBois, well-known medium and bestselling author whose latest release is called Into the Dark, How the Dead Help Us Heal.

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Author Margaret Atwood/Photo: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian

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