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Check This Out: Aube Rey Lescure & 'River East, River West'

Aube Rey Lescure is the author of the new novel River East, River West. In the days following this interview, Rey Lescure's book was shortlisted for the 2024 Women's Prize for Fiction, the only debut novel on the 2024 shortlist.

River East, River West is about an American woman, Sloan, who moves to China in the 1980s, has a daughter, and marries a Chinese man.

Using alternate timelines and perspectives, we see 2007 China through the eyes of Alva, Sloan's teenage daughter with a Chinese father.

In the 1985 timeline, we see China through the eyes of Alva's stepfather, Lu Fang, who was a blue collar worker caught in the Chinese Revolution.

It's a complex family story, the love and struggle between mother, daughter, and stepfather.

We also see the fallout from the Cultural Revolution; how Lu Fang's life and dreams were crushed when he was sent to the tobacco fields, and a sense of how an entire generation is still dealing with that blow.

And we get to see Shanghai and China in a way one might never have seen before, in a way one might not be able to access as an American or as a tourist.

Check this Out features lively conversations with up and coming authors, and serves as a platform for diverse voices and stories to be heard. NHPR and The Howe Library are proud to be able to bring these conversations into your homes and headphones.

Rachel Barenbaum is the author of the critically-acclaimed novels Atomic Anna and A Bend in the Stars. She is a prolific writer and reviewer. Her work has appeared in the LA Review of Books, Harper’s Bazaar, and more.
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