The BookBrowse Review

Published June 22, 2022

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Melissa Fu
Melissa Fu

Melissa Fu Biography

Melissa Fu grew up in Northern New Mexico and has lived in Texas, Colorado, New York, Ohio and Washington. She now lives near Cambridge, UK, with her husband and children. With academic backgrounds in physics and English, she has worked in education as a teacher, curriculum developer, and consultant. She was the 2018/19 David TK Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia. Peach Blossom Spring is her first novel.

This biography was last updated on 03/22/2022.

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A letter to readers from Melissa Fu about her debut novel Peach Blossom Spring

Dear Reader,

This is a family story. That is, it tells the story of a family. Not my family, but an imagined one. A family created from the stories and anecdotes I learned while researching Peach Blossom Spring. Here is one of the great gifts of fiction: from many threads of human experience, we can weave a tapestry of narrative.

The backbone of the novel follows the trajectory of my father's life and many of his generation who lived through the Sino-Japanese and Chinese Civil wars. For a long time, I knew very little of this story. Only once did he tell us about his youth in China and Taiwan. That afternoon in 1998, I wrote down everything he said. Every date, every city, every scrap of memory he recalled. Since then, I have lived in six different houses and two different countries. Throughout all the moves and miles, I have always known exactly where those notes were. I knew they would be important someday; I just didn't know when.

I have often wondered why he chose that moment to share his memories. Now when I think about it, I realise he was at a peaceful point: he had recently retired and moved to a larger city, he was enjoying being a new grandfather. Maybe, for the first time in a long time, instead of looking at the past with sorrow and the future with caution, he could consider his life with reflection and hope. He told his story when the time was right.

Peach Blossom Spring is my debut novel. I came to writing fiction a little later in life, after working, marrying, and having children. Like so many arts, learning how to write takes time and practice. I also had to grow into this story. I needed to grow into an appreciation of just how difficult my father's choices were. I needed to grow into my own understanding of the choices we make of when to tell our stories, and when to hold them close, waiting for the right moment, the right people.

And now, I'm so pleased that Peach Blossom Spring has found its way into your hands. I offer it with humility and the hope that within these pages you find a story that speaks to you. Perhaps you're holding it because the time is right.

With gratitude,
Melissa Fu

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

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