from author’s website
Janie Chang writes historical fiction with a personal connection, drawing from a family history with 36 generations of recorded genealogy. She grew up listening to stories about life in a small Chinese town in the years before the Second World War and tales of ancestors who encountered dragons, ghosts, and immortals.
Her first novel, THREE SOULS, was a finalist for the 2014 BC Book Prizes Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; her second novel, DRAGON SPRINGS ROAD, was a Globe and Mail national bestseller. Both were nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award. Her third book, THE LIBRARY OF LEGENDS, released in May 2020, was nominated for the Evergreen Award and is a Globe and Mail national bestseller.
She is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University. She was the founder and main organizer of Authors for Indies, a 100% volunteer-staffed event that promoted a national day of support by Canadian authors for Canada’s independent bookstores; the event ran from 2015 – 2017 and transitioned to Canadian Independent Bookstore Day which is organized by the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association.
Born in Taiwan, Janie has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, and New Zealand. She now lives in beautiful Vancouver, Canada.
ABOUT THE LIBRARY OF LEGENDS:
China, 1937. When Japanese bombs begin falling on the city of Nanking, nineteen-year-old Hu Lian and her classmates at Minghua University are ordered to flee. Lian and a convoy of students, faculty and staff must walk 1,000 miles to the safety of China’s western provinces, a journey marred by the constant threat of aerial attack. And it is not just the refugees who are at risk; Lian and her classmates have been entrusted with a priceless treasure: a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as the Library of Legends.
Her family’s past has made Lian wary of forming attachments, but the students’ common duty to safeguard the Library of Legends forms unexpected bonds. Lian finds friendship and a cautious romance with the handsome and wealthy Liu Shaoming. But after one classmate is murdered and another arrested, Lian realizes she must escape from the convoy before a family secret puts her in danger. Accompanied by Shao and the enigmatic maidservant Sparrow, Lian makes her way to Shanghai, hoping to reunite with her mother.
During the journey, Lian learns of the connection between her two companions and a tale from the Library of Legends, The Willow Star and the Prince. This revelation comes with profound consequences, for as the ancient books travel across China, they awaken immortals and guardian spirits who embark on an exodus of their own, one that will change the country’s fate forever.
Based on true events, rich in Chinese history and lore, The Library of Legends is both an illuminating exploration of China’s recent past and an evocative tale of love, sacrifice, and the extraordinary power of storytelling.
Available for purchase here.
PRAISE AND RECOGNITION FOR THE LIBRARY OF LEGENDS:
“The Library of Legends is a gorgeous, poetic journey threaded with mist and magic about a group from a Chinese university who take to the road to escape the Japanese invasion of 1937 – only to discover that danger stalks them from within. Janie Chang pens pure enchantment!” — Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network
“Janie Chang has beautifully melded history and the spirit world to create an adventurous love story for all of us readers who love books and who, in a perfect world, would do anything to save them.” — Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author of The Island of Sea Women and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
“Chang expertly weaves mysticism and historical details, and sets up a cast of memorable characters. This will charm readers from the very first page.” — Publishers Weekly
“Janie Chang’s The Library of Legends is a delicious mix of history, myth, and romance. Chang deftly intertwines Chinese folklore and historical detail to create a magical, heartfelt read.” — Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation and Searching for Sylvie Lee
“Janie Chang’s The Library of Legends delivers stark historical truths on the tail of a shooting star. Absolutely enchanting.” — Ana Johns, bestselling author of The Woman in the White Kimono
“Love and fate entangle in a tender tale of star-crossed romance and scholarship. In The Library of Legends, Janie Chang whisks the reader on a journey of a lifetime, with the transportation of a university library of rare books across China. Based on Chang’s father’s own experience as a student-in-exile, it interweaves the pressures of war with a poignant saga of love lost and gained. Vibrant, rich, and moving, The Library of Legends brings an unusual true episode in Chinese history to shimmering, heartfelt life.” — Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Ghost Bride and The Night Tiger
“Janie Chang brings wartime China to life in The Library of Legends, imbuing her characters with the same epic qualities they find in the mythic figures that follow them on their journey to safety. Moving smoothly between historical fiction and magic realism, this is a beautifully written story of love, hope, and courage.” — Bryn Turnbull, author of The Woman Before Wallis
“Janie Chang has done it again with this story of an exodus of young students — treasured as China’s future — intermingled with an imaginary, unconventional departure of mystical beasts and legendary deities during a war that changes China forever. Evocative, unforgettable, The Library of Legends is truly out of this world!” — Weina Dai Randel, award-winning author of The Moon in the Palace
“Atmospheric and beautifully told, Janie Chang has woven a tale that tugs on the threads of China’s history and legend alike. Readers will find themselves immersed in this story of love amidst war, hope amidst sacrifice.” — Stephanie Marie Thornton, USA Today bestselling author of And They Called It Camelot
“The Library of Legends is a luminous and enthralling story set during a pivotal period in the making of modern China, and highlights the Chinese determination to preserve their culture by saving precious historical treasures at great sacrifice. The exploits of historical characters and ancient mythological beings are interwoven in a blend of wonder, courage, and suspense.” — Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of The Splendor Before the Dark and Elizabeth I