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A Conversation with Grace Li

The author of the bestselling Portrait of a Thief sat down with ASF to chat about her book.

Event Details:

Tuesday, October 10, 2023
12:00pm - 1:00pm PDT

Location

Zoom

This event is open to:

Faculty/Staff
Members
A screenshot of author Grace Li reading from her book
Author Grace Li reading from her book
A screenshot of all the event attendees
A screenshot of attendees

On Tuesday, October 10th, ASF held a Zoom conversation with author and current Stanford Medical student Grace Li to discuss her book, Portrait of a Thief. The book is often described as Ocean’s Eleven meets The Farewell—a lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums, about diaspora, the colonization of art, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity. An instant New York Times bestseller and #1 international bestseller, it is currently in development at Netflix.

The conversation with Grace about her book and medical school journey was insightful and captivating. Grace had just finished her clinical rotation before the event and showed up to the Zoom in scrubs! Attendees dove into Grace's inspirations for the book—real-life Chinese art heists, her experiences as a Chinese American, and the desire many of us have to find avenues for creative expression. Grace described the book as an “identity story disguised as a heist story.” She talked about “finding joy in writing” regardless of the end goal or potential judgment from others. She also provided advice on how to develop a solid writing practice, quoting a mentor who reminded her to “focus on what’s important, not urgent.” This was an enriching way to conclude the book club series for Portrait of a Thief.

40 lucky ASF Members received a copy of the book!

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