The historical fiction, picked up by HarperCollins in May 2016, was set in a mythical land inspired by 20th century China. The book follows a young orphan's entry into an elite military school and her discovery of shamanic power as a war brews in the background.
"It's about the domestic politics, military strategy and interpersonal dynamics of the most important figures of 20th century China, but everything is transposed to a Song dynasty setting just because I thought the culture, weapons and aesthetic were so much cooler to write about," said Kuang, 22, a Georgetown University senior, in an interview with the university's newspaper The Hoya.
Kuang, who immigrated to the United States from Guangzhou, China in 2000, plans to continue to pursue Chinese history at the University of Cambridge next fall.
She was one of 43 U.S. recipients of 2017 Marshall Scholarship, an award that funds up to three years of graduate study at any university in the United Kingdom.
"The Poppy War" will be followed by two sequels. Kuang said she will finish this trilogy before she moves to England.
BookExpo runs from Wednesday till Friday featuring more than 150 exhibitors at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, followed over the weekend by the fan-based BookCon.
(Source: China Daily)