Mise à jour du 20 avril 2015 : droits cédés aux éditions Belfond
A funny, brave, zeitgeisty, epic debut
THE WANGS V. THE WORLD
by Jade Chang
Agent: Sasha Raskin – The Agency Group
THE WANGS V. THE WORLD is a new take on belonging in America, with immigrants who don’t yearn for acceptance or struggle to fit in. Instead, they’re here to knock shit down and rebuild the country in their own image!
A bit of family history: its author, Jade Chang, was born in America, but for generations, the Changs (her father’s side) and the Baos (her mother’s side) were wealthy landowners who presided over vast estates in Mainland China. When the Communists won the Chinese Civil War in 1949, her grandparents were lucky enough to flee to Taiwan along with the remains of the Nationalist Army. On that tiny island they socialized primarily with other displaced Mainlanders and taught their children, her parents, to long for a lost China.
Charles Wang, the patriarch at the heart of THE WANGS V. THE WORLD, shares the same background as Jade’s parents, and that same yen for his family’s unseen acres. He is a brash, brilliant, lovable asshole who came to America and built a cosmetics fortune. When the book begins, it is the late summer of 2008 and thanks to a bad case of “irrational exuberance” he has just lost it all.
Now all Charles wants is to get his family safely stowed away so that he can go back to China, the homeland he has never even seen, and attempt to reclaim his ancestral lands. THE WANGS V. THE WORLD follows the Wang family on a cross-country journey from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the Upstate New York retreat of Charles’ eldest daughter, Saina, an art world It girl in hiding after the disaster of her most recent show and the breakup of her engagement. Charles pulls Andrew, his virginal, aspiring comedian son, and Grace, his style-and-suicide-obsessed teen daughter, out of schools that he can no longer afford and packs them into the only car that wasn’t repossessed—along with their wealth-addicted stepmother, Barbra. The story is told from all five of the Wangs’ third-person POVs. But with his son waylaid by a much-older temptress in New Orleans, his wife ready to defect for a set of 1,000-thread-count sheets, and an epic smash-up in North Carolina, Charles may have to choose between the old world and the new, between keeping his family intact and finally, finally fulfilling his dream of China.
Jade Chang has covered arts and culture for publications like Metropolis Magazine (where she was the West Coast Editor for several years), the BBC, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Glamour, and others. She is currently at Goodreads, where she works on editorial strategy.