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Fri, Apr 05


1113 Montana Ave

Presents: Book Launch Conversation with Susan Lieu and Jeff Yang

Presents: Book Launch Conversation with Susan Lieu and Jeff Yang
Presents: Book Launch Conversation with Susan Lieu and Jeff Yang

Time & Location

Apr 05, 2024, 6:00 PM PDT

1113 Montana Ave, 1113 Montana Ave

About the event

Harvardwood invites you to join Susan Lieu and Jeff Yang in their discussion of THE MANICURIST'S DAUGHTER! After the event, there will be a no-host afterparty at Jeff Yang's Sorry Not Sorry cocktail garden close by.

Harvardwood is a nonprofit organization for members of the Harvard University community (and beyond) who believe in the power and purpose of the arts, media, and entertainment. Founded in 1999, Harvardwood serves thousands of members in the U.S. and internationally through various resources including virtual and in-person events, job and internship opportunities, fellowships, mentorship, and publications.

About the book:

Susan Lieu has long been searching for answers. About her family’s past and about her own future. Refugees from the Vietnam War, Susan’s family escaped to California in the 1980s after five failed attempts. Upon arrival, Susan’s mother was their savvy, charismatic North Star, setting up two successful nail salons and orchestrating every success―until Susan was eleven. That year, her mother died from a botched tummy tuck. After the funeral, no one was ever allowed to talk about her or what had happened. For the next twenty years, Susan navigated a series of cascading questions alone―why did the most perfect person in her life want to change her body? Why would no one tell her about her mother’s life in Vietnam? And how did this surgeon, who preyed on Vietnamese immigrants, go on operating after her mother’s death? Sifting through depositions, tracking down the surgeon’s family, and enlisting the help of spirit channelers, Susan uncovers the painful truth of her mother, herself, and the impossible ideal of beauty.

About the authors:

SUSAN LIEU is a Vietnamese-American author, playwright, and performer who tells stories that refuse to be forgotten. A daughter of nail salon workers, she took her award-winning autobiographical solo show 140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother on a ten-city national tour, with sold-out premieres and accolades from the Los Angeles Times, NPR, and American Theatre. Eight months pregnant, she premiered her sequel, OVER 140 LBS, at ACT Theatre. She is a proud alumna of Harvard College, Yale School of Management, Coro, Hedgebrook, and Vashon Artist Residency. She is also the cofounder of Socola Chocolatier, an artisanal chocolate company based in San Francisco. Susan lives with her husband and son in Seattle, where they enjoy mushroom hunting, croissants, and big family gatherings. The Manicurist’s Daughter is her first book.

JEFF YANG is an author, screenwriter and cultural critic who regularly contributes to CNN, NPR, the New York Times and other major media platforms. He’s managing partner of the production company HUJE, which currently has shows in development with Disney and Insight Media, and is cowriter of the forthcoming film A Promised Land. He has written three bestselling books—Jackie Chan's New York Times-chart topping memoir I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action; Once Upon a Time in China, a history of the cinemas of Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Mainland; and the Asian pop culture compendium Eastern Standard Time: A Guide to Asian Influence on American Culture — and three graphic novels — Secret Identities, Shattered and New Frontiers. His next book, RISE: A Pop History of Asian America, from the Nineties to Now, will be a lead title for Harper Collins in Spring 2022.

Yang has been a creative and development consultant for Pearl Studios, Disney, Fox Studios, Baobab Animation, DreamWorks, Electronic Arts and Hasbro. Most recently, he was a key strategic and creative consultant working with Marvel’s development and creative team on Shang-Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings, which has become the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful movie since the beginning of the pandemic, and has been lauded as opening a brand new direction for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is currently working with Legion M and Powerhouse Animation to develop an animated series based on Dale Berry’s cult classic wuxia graphic novels Tales of the Moonlight Cutter.


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