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Yellowface
Cover of Yellowface
Yellowface

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

  • A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK

    "Hard to put down, harder to forget."Stephen King, #1 New York Times bestselling author

    White lies. Dark humor. Deadly consequences... Bestselling sensation Juniper Song is not who she says she is, she didn't write the book she claims she wrote, and she is most certainly not Asian American—in this chilling and hilariously cutting novel from R.F. Kuang, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Babel.

    Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena's a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. Who wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

    So when June witnesses Athena's death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena's just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I.

    So what if June edits Athena's novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song—complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn't this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That's what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

    But June can't get away from Athena's shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June's (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

    With its totally immersive first-person voice, Yellowface grapples with questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the terrifying alienation of social media. R.F. Kuang's novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable.

  • INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

  • A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK

    "Hard to put down, harder to forget."Stephen King, #1 New York Times bestselling author

    White lies. Dark humor. Deadly consequences... Bestselling sensation Juniper Song is not who she says she is, she didn't write the book she claims she wrote, and she is most certainly not Asian American—in this chilling and hilariously cutting novel from R.F. Kuang, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Babel.

    Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena's a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. Who wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

    So when June witnesses Athena's death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena's just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I.

    So what if June edits Athena's novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song—complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn't this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That's what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

    But June can't get away from Athena's shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June's (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

    With its totally immersive first-person voice, Yellowface grapples with questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the terrifying alienation of social media. R.F. Kuang's novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable.

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    About the Author-
    • Rebecca F. Kuang is the #1 New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the Poppy War trilogy, Babel: An Arcane History, and Yellowface. Her work has won the Nebula, Locus, Crawford, and British Book Awards. A Marshall Scholar, she has an MPhil in Chinese Studies from Cambridge and an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from Oxford. She is now pursuing a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale, where she studies diaspora, contemporary Sinophone literature, and Asian American literature.

    Reviews-
    • AudioFile Magazine Helen Laser gives a mesmerizing performance in this poignant novel about race, censorship, and the capriciousness of social media. When June Hayward and Athena Liu get together to celebrate Athena's success as an Asian writer, the night goes incredibly wrong. Athena ends up dead, and June ends up with Athena's manuscript. Laser's inflections accurately portray retiring June and her confident, classy nemesis, Athena. Ensuing events include June's rise to fame and subsequent descent into guilt and delusions amid social media fallout and increasing accusations of theft and cultural appropriation. Laser captures all of it with compelling crispness that brings out the novel's themes. This is a riveting production of a thrilling and thought-provoking story. M.F. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine
    • Library Journal

      Starred review from September 1, 2023

      Kuang's (Babel) gripping new novel follows June, a struggling white writer who watches helplessly as her Chinese American friend Athena achieves literary stardom. When Athena dies in a bizarre accident, June steals Athena's final manuscript and publishes it as her own. Narrator Helen Laser masterfully takes thief, liar, and plagiarizer June from despicable to almost sympathetic. Laser's narration, which is deeply in tune with Kuang's writing, immerses listeners in June's downward spiral, from a delusional woman clinging to plausible deniability to an outrageous literary monster. Laser makes it easy to be seduced by June's inner narrative, where envy and greed are transformed into altruism. Collaborating with an unethical editor and marketing team inflates June's ego beyond redemption, an arc that Laser readily captures as she allows June's voice to become more smug, snappish, and entitled. All traces of doubt are replaced by a self-righteous anger that pushes June to attack any critic and leaves her vulnerable to Athena's ghost. VERDICT A deeply compelling satire, with sharp insight into the horrifying notion that authentic voices can be replaced by privileged ones that publishers assume are more marketable. June's rise and fall in an amoral industry is both entertaining and thought-provoking.--Matthew Galloway

      Copyright 2023 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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      HarperAudio
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      All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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