I was born in Shanghai, China, exiled by the commies in 1952, went to Italy with my family. After five years we emigrated to the U.S. Ten years after that, I moved to Brazil with my husband, Renato. Back in California in 1980, I began writing. I have five novels: The Year of the Rat, Journey from Shanghai, Stone of Heaven, The Snake Woman of Ipanema, A Rare Passion; and two story/essay collections, Pastiche: Stories and Such and Farrago: More Stories. Eight short stories and essays earned first-place awards. One story, "Cicadas," was nominated for the 2013 Pushcart Prize.