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Lam’s latest novel is WWII story of friendship

2 sons of China

Longmeadow resident Dr. Andrew Lam's latest novel, "Two Sons of China" is being released Dec. 7.

Longmeadow resident Dr. Andrew Lam’s latest novel, “Two Sons of China” is being released Dec. 7.

LONGMEADOW – Dr. Andrew Lam of Longmeadow is well known as a retinal surgeon, but some may be surprised to know he has a second career as an author.
Earlier this year Lam’s first book, “Saving Sight,” was published. The best selling book is an account of the many heroes in the world of eye surgery. Lam tells both a history of the field as well as true tales from his experiences in the OR.
This week, Lam will have a second book published. Available Dec. 7, “Two Sons of China” is a fiction novel based in real history. The publication date is Pearl Harbor Day, which is perfect timing for a book about an unlikely friendship forged between two soldiers – an American and a Chinese communist guerilla fighter – during a secret mission in World War II China.
“I’m excited about this book,” said Lam. “I love military history and this is set in a place that’s new to many people, which is China. This is a part of the war that’s been forgotten by many.”
The novel was inspired by the little-known, real-life story of the Dixie Mission of 1944, in which American soldiers ventured to Mao Zedong’s northern stronghold of Yenan to investigate reports that the Chinese Communists were effectively fighting the Japanese, and to consider arming Mao’s troops with U.S. weapons.
“Too few people are aware of America’s role in China during World War II,” said Lam. “This is an action-packed, romantic war novel that shines a light on unsung American heroes who served with honor in a distant, difficult land.”
The real-life mission paired a small group of American soldiers  with their Chinese counterparts on a mission behind Japanese lines in northern China.
In the story, two soldiers form a bond despite their apparent differences.
“There is a lot of exciting action, there is history, and there is romance,” said Lam.
Lam said the tragedy of the real life mission is that the Americans wrote reports about their work with the Chinese and portrayed the communist soldiers truthfully and favorably.
“During the McCarthy era, those Americans were considered sympathetic to communists and some lost their careers,” said Lam.
Lam is very passionate about “Two Sons of China” and the true mission the fictional story is based upon partly because of his Chinese heritage. Both of Lam’s grandfathers had to flee China and ended up in America. Lam said many people with wealth and education left prominent jobs in China to work in dry cleaners and restaurants in America to give their children a better life.
“I know people of South Korean and Vietnamese descent who, if it weren’t for the U.S., would not have had a good life,” said Lam. “I’m not saying America always does things perfectly, but our actions have given many people the chance to live their lives in freedom.”
Lam said many people went to Taiwan and Hong Kong after WWII, but there wasn’t enough work for them and they sought a better life in America.
“I never take being an American for granted,” he said.
New York Times bestselling author William Martin writes, “Prepare to be captivated. Two Sons of China takes you to WWII China, introduces you to a fascinating cast of characters, and spins a terrific tale of adventure and romance. If you love historical fiction, or any fiction, don’t miss it.”
Bestselling author Anita Shreve offers, “ ‘Two Sons of China’ is compelling in its story, gritty in its historical detail, and sensuous in its excellent prose. This is an eye-opening novel about a little known story at the far side of World War II. A remarkable book that deserves a wide audience.”
Before becoming an eye surgeon, Lam earned a history degree from Yale. His first book, “Saving Sight,” has been an Amazon bestseller since its release in May 2013.
“Two Sons of China” is available at http://www.TwoSonsofChina.com, Amazon, and iTunes.