Mingmei Yip was guest host of #LitChat at 4 p.m. E.T. on February 8, 2016. Download a copy of the chatscript here.
From Mingmei Yip, the author of Secret of a Thousand Beauties and Peach Blossom Pavilion, comes a beautifully written novel of self-discovery and intrigue.
Chinese-American assistant professor Eileen Chen specializes in folk religion at her San Francisco college. Though her grandmother made her living as a shamaness, Eileen publicly dismisses witchcraft as mere superstition. Yet privately, the subject intrigues her.
When a research project takes her to the Canary Islands—long rumored to be home to real witches—Eileen is struck by the lush beauty of Tenerife and its blend of Spanish and Moroccan culture. A stranger invites her to a local market where women sell amulets, charms, and love spells. Gradually Eileen immerses herself in her exotic surroundings, finding romance with a handsome young furniture maker. But as she learns more about the lives of these self-proclaimed witches, Eileen must choose how much trust to place in this new and seductive world, where love, greed, and vengeance can be as powerful, or as destructive, as any magic.
Mingmei Yip is a prolific novelist whose has been translated into nine languages and published in ten countries. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, on a full academic scholarship from the French government. Upon returning to Hong Kong, she held faculty positions at two universities. In 2005, she spend two months in the Netherlands as an International Institute of Asian Studies research fellow. Mingmei Yip grew up in Hong Kong, studied in Paris and now lives in New York City.