Vintage Books, April 2013

“Pauline Chen’s boldly imagined retelling of The Dream of the Red Chamber is a literary wonder. An epic yet intimate account of palace intrigue and political tumult that dazzles on every page. Heartbreaking, exhilarating, and impossible to put down.”

—Julie Otsuka, author of The Buddha in the Attic

In eighteenth-century China, the beautiful orphan Daiyu leaves her home in the provinces to seek shelter with her mother’s family in Beijing. At Rongguo Mansion, she is drawn into a world of sumptuous feasts, silken robes, and sparkling jewels—as well as a complex web of secret rivalries and intrigues that threatens to trap her at every turn. When she falls in love with Baoyu, the family’s brilliant, unpredictable heir, she finds the forces of the family and convention arrayed against her, and must risk everything to follow her heart.

Based on the epic Dream of the Red Chamber—one of the most famous love stories in Chinese literature—this novel recasts a timeless tale for Western audiences to discover.


“Rarely does a cast of beloved literary figures from another culture and time come alive on the pages of a modern writer’s work. Pauline Chen has reimagined the characters from my very favorite novel to make a compelling new version of China’s great literary masterpiece. I highly recommend The Red Chamber. It will transport you into an altogether new world.”

—Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha

“Bold and memorable…. Chen retells and recreates in lush detail the daily life inside the Rongguo Mansion, where scandalous secrets and lies are hidden behind a grand façade.”

Chicago Tribune

“Elegant…. takes a long hard look at the complex interconnected desires, ambitions, and conventions that can bind a family together—or tear it apart.”

The Daily Beast

“In Pauline Chen’s transporting interpretation of the Chinese classic The Dream of the Red Chamber, the byzantine machinations and behind-the-screen politics of the Jia family are so skillfully rendered as to bring to mind a delicate ink painting suddenly and vividly brought to life. A remarkable achievement.”

—Janice Lee, author of The Piano Teacher

Peiling and the Chicken-fried Christmas

Peiling and the Chicken-Fried Christmas

Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2007

“A fun and truthful tale that will connect with anyone who’s felt uncomfortable about being different.”


Christmas season is in full swing, and Peiling Wang can’t take another minute of it! Her family is from Taiwan, and even though she’s lived in the United States since she was small, she’s never once celebrated the all-American holiday. But when she finally talks her parents into celebrating Christmas, what follows is a full-scale battle between cranberry sauce and soy sauce, carols and karaoke, roast turkey and Peking duck. When the dust finally settles, Peiling starts to understand: it’s not about being from Taiwan or America; it’s all about feeling at home. (Ages 9-12)


“The holiday brings disappointment first, then triumph and a new friend to a young Taiwanese immigrant in this multistranded, feel-good tale… Peiling makes an appealingly levelheaded protagonist, and …[author Chen] doesn’t miss much in this often-amusing picture of the Wang family working at fitting its new and old cultures together.”


“Peiling is realistic and relatable as a headstrong preteen looking for ways to assert her individuality while trying desperately to fit in.”

—Horn Book

“A sweet story with a tasty twist!”

—Discovery Girls

“Chen has written a winner…This story of an immigrant family is smart, fun, and as consumable as a holiday mint.”

—Cleveland Plain Dealer

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