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Book Club: June 2024

By Heather Goodman Lytwyn


The Icelandic Roots Book Club for Thursday June 6, 2024 will feature Journey Across the


Four Seas: A Chinese Woman’s Search for Home with author Veronica Li.


Veronica Li received her Bachelor of Arts with a major in English from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating, she worked as a journalist for the Hong Kong office of the French news agency, AFP. In 1976 she joined the writing staff of the Asian Wall Street Journal in its premier year. At The School of John Hopkins University, she obtained her master’s degree in International Affairs. This led her to Washington, D.C. where Veronica worked for The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (The World Bank). There she met a charming architect from Iceland who would eventually bring her to the Icelandic Roots group of volunteers.

 

Born in Thailand, and mostly raised in Hong Kong, Veronica emigrated with her family to California in 1967 when she was fifteen. Journey Across the Four Seas: A Chinese Woman’s Search for Home is a memoir of her mother and a universal story of the search for a better life for future generations. It will be interesting to talk about how this memoir is similar, and in other ways different to those of the Icelanders, both before and after they emigrated.


Veronica is an example of someone who is compelled to make sense of her life by writing. She produced two works of fiction and two memoirs. Her books are available on Amazon in three formats: paperback, Kindle, and audiobook. Her second memoir was co-written with her husband, Sverrir Sigurdsson, and featured in the Icelandic Book Club in December 2022. They have conducted workshops on writing strategies, and you can find their excellent AARP webinar at this link: Tuesday Explorers Present Essential Elements of Memoir Writing. In addition to hearing more about their stories, this is an excellent opportunity to learn concrete tips on how to write your memoir.


If you go to http://veronicali.com, you will find a summary of Veronica’s books, biography, and reviews. On the recap of Confucius Says, click on Book Launch Video which was recorded in 2016. In this, Veronica explains how being a caregiver for her parents inspired her to research the teachings of Confucius. What started out as a memoir became an insightful and lighthearted work of fiction. It is interesting how these stories evolved—sometimes changing point of view or transforming from a transactional piece to fiction. As Jón Kalman said at our May book club, authors are often as surprised as readers about where the writing takes them.


Please join us on June 6th at 7 pm CST for a conversation with Veronica. The link will be in your email the day before.

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