Daughter of Heaven A Memoir


“This delectable book will satisfy multiple appetites: for compelling family saga, for heartfelt coming-of-age story, and for irresistible Chinese dishes.”

— Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend, winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction


“Leslie Li’s writing is brilliantly fresh, direct, and unabashed. Deftly wise and ironic, Daughter of Heaven takes us on an unforgettable, unflinching journey of food and remembrance.” 

— Diana Abu-Jaber, author of The Language of Baklava and Crescent


“Like an amuse-bouche, each vignette in Li’s memoir tantalizes with a taste of Li’s life as a Chinese-American in suburban New York… the book is more than satisfying, and the mythical ending (Li recounts a fable of her own) is haunting.”

— Starred review in Publishers Weekly


“Warmly received, sharply observed…  If food, with its attendant emotions and symbolism, is at the heart of the book, it is just one layer in a very rich composite.”

Associated Press


“…goes far beyond the show-and-tell character of standard memoirs… the story of the author’s personal journey from the young multi-ethnic girl growing up in New York who would have happily shed any connection to her Chinese roots, to the mature woman who seeks to connect to her ancestry on a much deeper level.”

San Francisco Chronicle


“Li has an almost filmic talent for bringing odd events into sharp focus… and the recipes are delectable.”

— Corinne Trang, author of Essentials of Asian Cuisine