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City Visions: Bay Area author Vanessa Hua on immigration, motherhood, and the American Dream

Andria Lo



Host Ethan Elkind sits down with the author and San Francisco Chronicle columnist.

Hua refers to her recent book, A River of Stars, as an “Asian-American, pregnant Thelma and Louise.”  The protagonists are pregnant, undocumented immigrants in the US, and A River of Stars charts their determined effort to offer a better life for their children.  





Vanessa Hua is an accomplished writer of both fiction and non-fiction. She is a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, and her well-reviewed short story collection from 2016, Deceit and Other Possibilities, is being reissued by Counterpoint Press.


A River of Stars is Vanessa Hua’s debut novel.  It has been referred to by Vanessa herself as an “Asian-American, pregnant Thelma and Louise.”  The two protagonists start out vulnerable - pregnant and undocumented Chinese immigrants on the lam in the US. The book charts their courageous efforts to create better opportunities for their children.  The themes include immigration, the complexity of the Chinese-American community, and the American Dream, as well as the ferocity of maternal love.


A Bay Area native, she currently lives outside San Francisco with her husband and twin children.


Producer: Wendy Holcombe