Mary and Ingrid are sisters, born and brought up in China, now resident in the US. Mary is the older of the two; seemingly a devoted wife, mother, churchgoer, and with a well-paid job, she is, however, tormented by adultery, her grudge toward her parents, and her despair at work. Her estranged sister Ingrid, meanwhile, has never settled to anything; she prefers her bohemian friends' Latin culture to her own, and is haunted by her college boyfriend's tragic death. When their widowed mother travels to the US for the first time, they can't avoid a family get-together. Amid all it stirs up, it becomes clear that the uneasy relationship between the sisters has its roots deeper than either has ever acknowledged - and extends to their parents and their homeland. Stretching from mid-century China to the US at the turn of the millennium, Beautiful as Yesterday explores issues of identity, of family and friendship, love and loss. Written in beautifully crafted prose, this is a penetrating exploration of what it means to belong, and the impact of history and memories on one's life.
Fan Wu grew up on a state-run farm in southern China, where her parents were exiled during the Cultural Revolution. She moved to the United States in 1997 and began to write five years later. Her debut novel, February Flowers, has been translated into eight languages, and her short fiction has been anthologized and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Wu holds an MA from Stanford University and currently lives in California.