Part I: China
From One Root Many Flowers is Virginia C. Li's story of personal and family transformation set against the backdrop of China's tumultuous modern history. Drawing on her father's letters, her mother's recollections, historical records and her own childhood memories, Li has woven a compelling chronicle of her family's journey from the pinnacle of political prominence in wartime China under Chiang Kaishek, to displaced persons struggling in their adopted new homeland of America in the aftermath of the Chinese Communist revolution. Out of the hardships and uncertainty of life in a new land, Li traces her own path to maturity as a first-generation citizen who rises to success in academia and turns her attention back full circle to bettering the health and lives of those in her ancestral homeland.

From the Author's Preface—

"From historic roots deeply embedded in a land far away, to ones that have been uprooted and replanted again, I am fortunate to know firsthand how brave, new lives can blossom like beautiful flowers in another land. As the daughter of Chinese dignitaries, a transplanted refugee, mother, university professor, and international consultant, I have seen the human spirit of four generations of Chinese and then Americans attain triumph from despair and disappointment. This is a story of how two distinct worlds and proud cultures have come to work together, to offer a glimpse of hope and a future for humankind."

—excerpt reprinted with permission

"Makes for consistently fascinating reading."

Bookview's Pick of the Month (September 2003)

"Written with remarkable lucidity and sensitive regard for the human condition in times of war, migration and social adaptation."

D.W.Y. Kwok, Professor Emeritus
Department of History
University of Hawaii

"Professor Li has woven together the fascinating story of her family—and the engrossing history of China in the twentieth century. The result is an extraordinarily rich and complex fabric."

Richard Gunde
UCLA Center for Chinese Studies

The author may be contacted at

Part II: America
Part III: Two Worlds Entwined
Buy the Book!

Current Work

China’s Pilot on Tobacco Crop Substitution