Janice Y.K. Lee Stars at the USCB Lunch With Author Series

Y.K. Lee has been a guest on every talk show including Oprah and has had her book reviewed in the NY Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, Vogue, USA TODAY, Elle, People, The Wall Street Journal to awe-inspiring accolades. Now the USCB Lunch With Author series is bringing her to the Moss Creek Plantation Clubhouse on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 to share the story of her first book, The Piano Teacher with a Lowcountry audience.

     The Piano Teacher is a definite departure from the themes of most of the books featured in the series.  It alternates between the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II to ten years after the war and exposes old scars that remained.  This is not a historic novel, it’s a love story… about love for a lover or spouse and the strain it suffers under horrible adversities.  It’s a story of love for your city, your homeland, your friends, and mostly your own honor and respect.

       A review in USA TODAY – which just named The Piano Teacher one of the 10 “must reads” of 2009 – capsulated the book thusly:  “The past, both personal and political, can’t be escaped in this atmospheric, finely wrought novel set in Hong Kong.  Dealing with love, betrayal and the moral ambiguities of colonialism, it’s told through two alternating narratives.  In 1952, a provincial British newlywed moves to Hong Kong with a husband she barely knows.  She gets involved with an older man, another British ex-pat, whose secrets unfold in flashbacks set a decade earlier during the brutal Japanese occupation. The author grew up in Hong Kong and, after working as an editor at Elle, returned to live there.  Her city is as much a character in The Piano Teacher as her international cast.”

       Growing up in a Korean household in Hong Kong, Janice Y. K. Lee says she felt out of place.  “To be a local in Hong Kong, you have to be a local Chinese or English and I was neither of those things.”   At fifteen she was sent to boarding school in New Hampshire and from there to Harvard University where she graduated with a degree in English and American Literature and Language.  Her first job was in New York City with Elle magazine but eventually the ‘book-bug’ took hold and she enrolled in Hunter College MFA Program.  Five years later and two months before the birth of twins, she sold The Piano Teacher which has been on the best seller list ever since.  She currently lives in Hong Kong with her family.

       Lee will be traveling the country to highlight the paperback publication of The Piano Teacher.  Her USCB Lunch With Author appearance is Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at the Moss Creek Plantation Clubhouse.   Lunch is served at noon.  Reservations are necessary and may be made with Jo Ann Kingsley at 843-521-4147 or kingsley@uscb.edu.  The all-inclusive price is $42.