FORGOTTEN TALES OF CHINA
LISA APRIL SMITH
About the Author
Lisa April Smith is the highly praised author of “Dangerous Lies,” “Exceeding Expectations” and “Paradise Misplaced,” all in the genre she playfully calls “Suspense with Sizzle for Discerning Readers.” Reviews for all three are consistently amazing. But perhaps one reviewer succinctly said it best: “Lisa April Smith’s books have the pace and heat of Jacqueline Susann and the style and sophistication of Dominick Dunne.” Like other literary late bloomers, Smith grew up in a family of readers and dreamed of becoming an author. But necessity intervened and her formal education came in bits and pieces. Paying her own way college at 17, she chose to leave two years later when she moved to Boston to put her new husband through graduate school. Later, when she could steal time from raising a family, she enrolled in any class that appealed to her wide range of interests, attending any college within an hour’s drive. Eventually, she received a BA in anthropology/sociology. A few years later, after attaining a degree in computer science she was hired by IBM. Ten years after that, she reluctantly left the company when she and her husband moved to Jupiter, Florida. Too young to retire, the yearning to write awakened and life for Smith forever changed. Combining corporate discipline, life experience and long suppressed creativity, characters and stories poured out. Malcolm Gladwell, in his 2008 article in The New Yorker asks “Why do we equate genius with precocity?” in his article “Late Bloomers” Gladwell says, “The Cézannes of the world bloom late not as a result of some defect in character, or distraction, or lack of ambition, but because the kind of creativity that proceeds through trial and error necessarily takes a long time to come to fruition.” Famous late blooming authors include: Henry Miller, Raymond Chandler, Joseph Conrad, Flora Thompson, Mary Wesley and Laura Ingalls Wilder, who published her first book in her mid-sixties. “Forgotten Tales of China,” both new in format and genre for the author, is a logical shift considering Smith’s passion for archeology, anthropology and China. Epic in scope, it skillfully blends scientific data with Smith’s acknowledged gift for storytelling. Note to aficionados of “Clan of the Cave Bear” – Prepare to be captivated by the first two stories in “Forgotten Tales of China:” “The People,” set 40,000 years ago and “Giants,” set 20,000 years ago. Once hooked, you will surely savor every word of the remaining four sagas.
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THE FORGOTTEN TALES OF CHINA
LISA APRIL SMITH
- Paperback: 308 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 2, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1493781030
- ISBN-13: 978-1493781034
Publication Date: December 31, 2013 For the first time, author Lisa April Smith merges her proven skill at delivering unforgettable characters, page-turner suspense and a scientist’s insistence on accuracy. Forgotten Tales is an epic tale of survival, sacrifice, lust and love, indomitable perseverance, bravery and betrayal. The location is the fertile Yellow River basin near modern-day Beijing – the Chinese Cradle of Civilization. For tens of thousands of years this unique river alternately rewarded its inhabitants hard work, then unpredictably swept away everything in its path with deadly unbridled fury.
Each of six tales has its own characters, conflicts and story. The first tale, “The People,” is set 40,000 years ago, with a small band who communicate almost solely through sign language. Their lives are shattered by the loss of precious fire – a development they have not as yet learned to create. In response to this crisis, Storm, their inexperienced eighteen year-old leader, takes four men to steal it from feared Strangers. The result of this chilling lethal exchange will forever alter the People’s lives. And then there’s low-ranking Berry, the first to be beaten and the last to eat, a nine year-old girl who imagines herself to be the successor to Wise Old Mother, the troupe’s revered shaman.
Praise for The Forgotten Tales of China:
The following five tales – “Giants,” “Squint,” “Shing’s Daughters,” “The Temple of the Goddess” and “The Bronze Worker and the Discarded Concubine” – each show the change in social structure that accompanies technological advances on the road to civilization. But the stories are always about human beings: their frailties and strengths, genius, passion, love and loss, desires and dreams.
If you’re interested in China, or if good historic fiction is among the genres you enjoy reading, this one is for you. If you’re a fan of Clan of the Cave Bear, the first two tales of Forgotten Tales are sure to delight. And if you the rare individual who insists on accuracy in historic fiction, this one was written for you.
“L. A. Smith’s characters radiate the fear and wonder of discovering for the first time so much of what we today accept as ordinary – and the essence of what it is to be human.” “ . . . heartbreak and triumph, victimization and courage, power and compassion, reading these stories is like feeling a spark between your own fingertips and those of your most distant ancestors.” Author and reviewer Valley Brown.
BARNES AND NOBLES:
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