A new novel from award-winning author R.F. Kuang that tackles questions of diversity and racism in publishing and the erasure of Asian American voices and history, in the vein of White Ivy and The Other Black Girl.
by R. F. Kuang
William Morrow, August 2021
(via Liza Dawson Associates)
Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars: same year at Yale, same debut year in publishing. But Athena’s a cross-genre literary darling, and June didn’t even get a paperback release. Nobody 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 to the British and French war efforts 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 NYT 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.
R.F. Kuang won the Astounding Award (the most prestigious award for best new writer in the science fiction and fantasy genre, awarded alongside the Hugo Awards) in 2020, and the Poppy War trilogy as a whole was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Series in 2021. YELLOWFACE is her first foray out of the SFF genre. A Marshall Scholar, she has an MPhil in Chinese Studies from Cambridge and an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from Oxford, and is currently pursuing a PhD at Yale, where she studies modern Chinese literature and Asian American literature.