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Meet the Author: Vanessa Hua

  • Pao Arts Center 99 Albany Street Boston, MA, 02111 United States (map)
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Pao Arts Center is proud to present author of A River of Stars, Vanessa Hua, on Thursday, April 4th.

ABOUT A RIVER OF STARS

In a powerful debut novel about modern-day motherhood, immigration, and identity, a pregnant Chinese woman makes her way to California and stakes a claim to the American dream.

A River of Stars has been named as one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, NPR and Real Simple.


Holed up with other mothers-to-be in a secret maternity home in Los Angeles, Scarlett Chen is far from her native China, where she worked in a factory and fell in love with the owner, Boss Yeung. Now she’s carrying his baby. Already married with three daughters, Boss Yeung is overjoyed because the doctors have confirmed that he will finally have the son he has always wanted. To ensure that his child has every advantage, Boss Yeung has shipped Scarlett off to give birth on American soil. U.S. citizenship will open doors for their little prince.

As Scarlett awaits the baby’s arrival, she chokes down bitter medicinal stews and spars with her imperious housemates. The only one who fits in even less is Daisy, a spirited teenager and fellow unwed mother who is being kept apart from her American boyfriend.

Then a new sonogram of Scarlett’s baby reveals the unexpected. Panicked, she escapes by hijacking a van—only to discover that she has a stowaway: Daisy, who intends to track down the father of her child. The two flee to San Francisco’s bustling Chinatown, where Scarlett will join countless immigrants desperately trying to seize their piece of the American dream. What Scarlett doesn’t know is that her baby’s father is not far behind her.

A River of Stars
 is an entertaining, wildly unpredictable adventure, told with empathy and wit by an author the San Francisco Chronicle says “has a deep understanding of the pressure of submerged emotions and polite, face-saving deceptions.” It’s a vivid examination of home and belonging, and a moving portrayal of a woman determined to build her own future.

Suggested donation for the event: $10. Doors will open at 6 pm, the event will begin at 6:30 pm. Vanessa Hua will read selections from her book, to be followed by an audience Q&A and book signing. Books will be available for sale at the event.

Photo credit: Andria Lo

Photo credit: Andria Lo

About the Author:
Vanessa Hua is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of a novel, A River of Stars, and a short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities. For two decades, she has been writing, in journalism and fiction, about Asia and the diaspora. She has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award, and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, as well as honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. A Bay Area native, she works and teaches at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.

Directions: The Pao Arts Center is located in the One Greenway building, 99 Kneeland Street. For GPS driving directions, use 66 Hudson Street, Boston, MA 02111. From Hudson Street, walk up the stairs and across the deck to the 99 Albany Street entrance. The public parking garage entrance is on Hudson Street. The Pao Arts Center is accessible by the MBTA Green, Red, and Orange lines.

Contact: Cynthia Woo | 617-863-9080