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The Worm Hole Podcast Episode 59: Melissa Fu (Peach Blossom Spring)

Charlie and Melissa Fu (Peach Blossom Spring) discuss the experiences of Chinese refugees during the Second Sino-Japanese War – particularly those who fled to Taiwan – the centuries old hand scrolls that inspired her own character’s scroll, and how the lives of her family influenced her work.

Please note that there are spoilers throughout the episode.

The David TK Wong Fellowship
George Ella Lyon’s Where I’m From
Danke Li’s Echoes Of Chongqing
The Second Sino-Japanese War
Chi Pang-yuan’s The Great Flowing River
The Great Tunnel Disaster of Chongqing
Q M Zhang’s Accomplice To Memory
The Admonitions scroll
The British Museum’s page on the Admonitions scroll (thanks to Melissa)
YouTube scroll-through of Along The River During Qingming
Animated version of Along The River (see top of page; thanks to Melissa)
Background information on Along The River
The Taiping steamer

Release details: recorded 1st April 2022; published 25th April 2022

Melissa’s social media: Website || Twitter || Instagram

You can contact the show at

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Show notes:

Question Index
Book Purchasing Links
Photo Credit Line

Question Index

00:45 You wrote some of this book during a fellowship at UEA?
02:30 [Reading]
05:00 What made you start on the note that you did?
06:56 Can you tell us about the other starting point of the novel, your father and his peach trees?
10:13 Is it right to say there might be a bit of you in Lily?
11:18 Can you tell us about Meilin – how you came to create her and what went in to making her?
14:38 Can you tell us about the experiences of women and refugees during the war?
16:56 The incidence in the tunnel and the plane on the road – are these real events that happened?
21:55 Can you tell us about Taiwan in terms of what it was like for the refugees?
26:10 Why did you include the hand scroll as an item and as a concept in itself?
30:15 Was it always in your mind to shrink Longwei’s family as the narrative continued?
34:52 Was Meilin right not to marry Longwei?
36:50 Could things have been fixed so that Meilin could have joined Henry in the US?
39:12 In the US, Henry is paranoid about political people coming after him due to his uncle. Was his uncle actually in a position to make that a possibility?
43:28 What’s next?

Purchasing Links
Book Cover

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Coming soon

Photograph used with the permission of Melissa’s publicist. Credit: Sophie Davidson.


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