LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK PARTY: Li Miao Lovett, Author of In the Lap of the Gods
Set in present day China, In the Lap of the Gods is a story about the heartbreak and challenge that families face today. When the world’s largest dam rises up, entire cities and villages go under water. The past is erased in the name of progress. Liu has lost all that is dear to him; his wife and unborn child have died, and his old town was flooded by the Three Gorges dam. In battling their own demons, Liu and Fang encounter the underbelly of China’s rampant growth. This is a story of defiance, weaving together a poor man’s struggle to survive in the modern world and a rich man’s attempt to reclaim the past.
Li Miao Lovett grew up in San Francisco, where she lived in a small enclave of tradition, language, and superstition handed down through the generations. She knew little about a not-so-distant past, of her father’s life in China before his escape during the Communist Revolution. His story revealed itself over time, but only in bits and pieces. “I have closed my heart to China,” he once said, a profound statement for a reticent man.
Li Miao Lovett is less reticent about telling the tales. It took a 600-mile backpacking journey on the Appalachian Trail, in the company of mosquitoes and compulsive poets, to set her on the writing path. She’s been a contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, China Rights Forum, Narrative Magazine, Earth Island Journal, and KQED public radio. She’s also organized readings for Words Without Borders as an advocate of literature in translation, bringing together authors to share works of Literature from around the world. In the Lap of the Gods is her first novel.
“The spectacle of deserted villages far as the eye can see receding underneath the unleashed, raging currents of the Yangtze is the world that Li Miao describes with rich detail and subtle poignancy.”
—Genny Lim, author, playwright (PBS-aired Paper Angels)
“In the Lap of the Gods gives us an insight into one of the most transformative events of our time.”
—Harriet Rohmer, author, Heroes of the Environment