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Lisa See, author of The Island of Sea Women

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends who come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. Little do they know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

March 2019

Lisa See is known for her books that are set in China, where she has shared with her readers many ancient traditions. With THE ISLAND OF SEA WOMAN, she has turned her focus to the Korean island of Jeju, where women dive for fish to both feed their families and sell, engaging in challenging physical work while men stay home with the children. I love the way Lisa can bring a world that I know little about into brilliant focus as she takes readers through seven decades beginning in 1938. Thinking of how much happened in Korea during that time period, I was astounded by how much I did not know. I found myself fascinated by the resiliency of the women who she writes about as they conquer so many challenges. Their courage under adversity was something to be admired.