The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

“Jeju is her home, an island known for Three Abundances: wind, stones and women.” Thus begins Lisa See’s newest novel, “The Island of Sea Women,” which is set on a Korean island and draws on the centuries-long history of the haenyeo, female divers who have effectively created a matrifocal society — they are the breadwinners of their families, while their husbands take on the domestic duties of cooking the meals and raising the children. After her nonfictional debut, “On Gold Mountain,” and a series of three mysteries, all of See’s subsequent novels have been historical, yet history never seems to be her main focus. Instead, underlying all of See’s work is the theme of female friendship. Throughout her oeuvre, which spans periods from the 19th century to the mid-20th and backdrops from Shanghai to San Francisco, See excels at exploring the bonds between women, whether friends or family…

Reblogged from The New York Times

Image courtesy of Simon & Schuster

April 05, 2019