Motherhood and Migration: An Interview with Vanessa Hua on “A River of Stars”


Scarlett Chen learned long ago how to survive on her own. She was only a teenager when she left her rural village for the huge factory cities in China; over the years, she relied on her wits and determination to climb up the factory leadership. But now she’s facing her greatest challenge — and she’s not alone anymore. When Scarlett’s plane touches down in Los Angeles, she embarks on a perilous journey into motherhood — here, in an entirely new country, far from everyone and everything she has ever known.

A River of Stars, Vanessa Hua’s first novel, is a stirring exploration of identity: what it means to be a parent, a lover, a friend. Both physically and emotionally, Scarlett lives between two worlds, caught between China and the United States, between tradition and modernity, between vulnerability and evolution. What does she discard and what does she keep as she searches for a place to belong?

I spoke to Hua about the duality of motherhood and migration, and the meaning of legacy — what we leave behind and what carries on long after we’re gone. Continue reading at the L.A. Review of Books.

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