Residential Honors Students Connect with NYT Best-Selling Author

The Residential Honors Class of 2022 spent an hour on Skype with Lisa See, best-selling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (2017), which was the summer reading book for their Residential Honors cohort.  Ms. See answered selected questions posed by the students, discussing how she researched her novel, how she learned so much about the Akha people of Yunnan, China, and how she came to pivot her story around three women and their family connection to pu’er tea. The students and their professors, Mr. McMahon and Drs. Fallis, Erickson, and Martin, learned that Ms. See traveled a great deal in Yunnan, drank a lot of tea, spent a lot of time reading and researching about the Akha, and gathered dozens of poignant letters from ethnic Chinese girls adopted into American families. In response to one question, she noted that she doesn’t think much about readers when she writes, but instead tries to focus on being true to the lives of her characters. Students came away with a great deal of insight on the process of writing a book, and how enormous a project a book can be. They also agreed that talking with the author was a real privilege and expressed the wish that they could talk with the author of every book they read.