Podcast with Fiona Sze-Lorrain, author of “Dear Chrysanthemums: A Novel in Stories”

Fiona Sze-Lorrain Fiona Sze-Lorrain

Dear Chrysanthemums: A Novel in Stories  jumps from character to character, location to location, time period to time period. Two cooks working for Madame Chiang-Kai Shek. A dancer, exiled to Shanghai’s Wukang Mansion. Three women, gathering in a French cathedral, finding strength in each other decades after the protests in Tiananmen.



Dear Chrysanthemums: A Novel in Stories, Fiona Sze-Lorrain (Scribner, May 2023)
Dear Chrysanthemums: A Novel in Stories, Fiona Sze-Lorrain (Scribner, May 2023)

These six interconnected stories make up this debut novel from accomplished poet and translator Fiona Sze-Lorrain, who joins us today, sharing on what guides her when she’s writing, and the importance of the number six in this debut.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain is a fiction writer, poet, musician, translator, and editor. She writes and translates in English, French, and Chinese. She is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Rain in Plural and The Ruined Elegance (Princeton University Press, 2016), and fifteen books of translation. A finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Best Translated Book Award among other honors, she was a 2019–20 Abigail R Cohen Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination and the inaugural writer-in-residence at the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires.

Nicholas Gordon has an MPhil from Oxford in International Relations and a BA from Harvard. He is a writer, editor and occasional radio host based in Hong Kong.