Sophia Zhang

“‘Broken dumplings are bad luck,’ Aunt Lu snapped at her younger brother. Of course she’d love to rest and let others take care of affairs for her. But the moment she turned her back, the world might fall apart in a thousand pieces again. She couldn’t afford to take her eyes off the dumplings. It was the Qi family’s one unbreakable tradition: the first meal of a visiting relative’s trip had to be noodles because the long strands signified they would stay a while, and their last meal had to be dumplings, for the roundness held promise that they’d soon return.”

If Fate Permits

If Fate Permits is a Chinese family saga that documents the rise and fall of an empire, civil war, the chaos of the Cultural Revolution and China’s economic reform. Told through intimate portraits of family members spanning seven generations, at the centre of each story is the 600-year-old courtyard that is the heart of the family home. This sweeping narrative takes readers on a journey to recover the forgotten history of China’s Manchu people.  

Sophia received her M.A. in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Fulbright, Boren, Foreign Language and Areas Studies, and Council of American Ambassadors Fellow and a Phillips Ambassadors Scholar. Her Contemporary YA manuscript is a 2022 WriteMentor and 2020 RevPit winner, and her short story “Summer” is published in Fulbright Korea’s literary magazine Infusion.