Lee, Rebecca 1967-
Lee, Rebecca 1967-
PERSONAL: Born 1967. Education: St. Olaf College, B.A., 1989; Iowa Writers’ Workshop, M.F.A., 1992.
CAREER: University of North Carolina at Wilmington, professor of creative writing.
AWARDS, HONORS: Rona Jaffe Award for fiction, and National Magazine Award for fiction, both 2001; Radcliffe Institute fellow, 2001-02.
Contributor to periodicals, including Atlantic Monthly, Outside, and Zoetrope; author of the screenplay Emerson and Thoreau: The Winter of 1842.
SIDELIGHTS: Rebecca Lee is the author of short stories, a play, and a novel titled The City Is a Rising Tide, set in the early 1990s. The narrator, Justine Laxness, spent much of her early life in Mao’s China with her wealthy missionary parents and now lives in New York where she works for the Aquinas Foundation, a nonprofit intent on establishing a New Age healing center on the Yangtze River in China. The project is threatened by the government’s plan to build a dam extension that will flood the land they wish to use.
Justine is in love with her boss, Peter, who is unattainable. She has known him since they first met in 1970s Beijing, when she was a child and he was working for Richard Nixon. At that time Peter was in love with Justine’s nanny, Su Chen, who was at one time a companion to Mao and whose life ended tragically. It is in her memory that Peter wants to build the healing center.
A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote: “Lee conjures affecting images of city vistas and (especially) the embracing presence of the Hudson River, observing such scenes with a deft balance of clinical precision and romantic hyperbole.” Donna Seaman commented in Booklist that the novel “is significant and extraordinarily astute as rising tides literal and figurative threaten to drown dreams, love, and peace.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Booklist, June 1, 2006, Donna Seaman, review of The City Is a Rising Tide, p. 38.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2006, review of The City Is a Rising Tide, p. 487.
Library Journal, June 1, 2006, David A. Berona, review of The City Is a Rising Tide, p. 108.
Publishers Weekly, May 8, 2006, review of The City Is a Rising Tide, p. 48.