Sasha Su-Ling Welland

About the Book

Booklist Editors' Choice 2006
Borders Original Voices Non-Fiction Selection 2006

A Thousand Miles of Dreams is an evocative and intimate biography of two Chinese sisters who took very different paths in their quest to be independent women. Ling Shuhao arrived in Cleveland in 1925 to study medicine in the middle of a U.S. crackdown on Chinese immigrant communities, and her effort to assimilate began. She became an American named Amy, while her sister Ling Shuhua burst onto the Beijing literary scene as a writer of short fiction. Shuhua's tumultuous affair with Virginia Woolf's nephew during his years in China eventually drew her into the orbit of the Bloomsbury group. The sisters were Chinese "modern girls" who sought to forge their own way in an era of social revolution that unsettled relations between men and women, and among nations. Daughters of an imperial scholar-official and a concubine, they followed trajectories unimaginable to their parents' generation.

Biographer Sasha Su-Ling Welland stumbled across their remarkable stories while recording her grandmother's oral history. She discovered the secret Amy had jealously hidden from family in the U.S.—her sister's fame as a Chinese woman writer—as well as intriguing discrepancies in the sisters' versions of the past. Shaped by the social history of their day, the journeys of these extraordinary women spanned the twentieth century and three continents in a saga of East-West cultural exchange and personal struggle. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.


Excerpts from the book can be viewed on the Google Books preview page for A Thousand Miles of Dreams.


Chinese Translation

The Baihua Literature and Art Publishing House, a press based in Tianjin, China, will publish a Chinese version of A Thousand Miles of Dreams in 2008.

Paperback Edition

The paperback edition of A Thousand Miles of Dreams is now available from Rowman & Littlefield.

Cover Design Award

Rowman & Littlefield designer Piper Wallis won third place for her cover design for A Thousand Miles of Dreams in the 2007 Washington Book Publishers Design and Effectiveness Awards.

Further Reading

For a comprehensive bibliography of Chinese and English language materials by and about Ling Shuhua and other further reading suggestions, click here.

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