Susie Yang joins Carol to discuss her debut novel, White Ivy, which is the “Today Show Read With Jena” selection for November.
Susie’s main character, Ivy Lin, was born in China. Her parents left her there and moved to the States, bringing her to join them when she was five. When Ivy is accepted as a scholarship student at the school where her father works, her goal is to fit in with others enrolled there. Her grandmother has taught her to shoplift from stores and yard sales to have the trappings of other American teenagers. Her crush is on a wealthy teen boy, Gideon Speyer whose father is a politician.
Ivy’s parents disapprove of her trying to Americanize, and she is sent back to China, which furthers her conflict with her family. She crosses paths again with Gideon, and inserts herself into his life, the way she’d always wanted. But she is challenged by an old acquaintance who knows enough about her to tear her new-found world apart.
The author Susie has lived around the world — in fact she spoke with Carol from Istanbul, where she is living this month. Her peripatetic lifestyle contributed to her writing, as she has moved so often. The two talk deeply about the characters in this book, as well as the multi-step editing process that took this book from first draft to publication.
Books discussed in this episode:
White Ivy by Susie Yang
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