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Yellowface: A Novel (2023)

de R.F. Kuang

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1,800819,334 (3.89)96
After the death of her literary rival in a freak accident, author June Hayward steals her just-finished masterpiece, sending it to her agent as her own work, but as emerging evidence threatens her success, she discovers how far she'll go to keep what she thinks she deserves.
  1. 10
    Erasure de Percival Everett (nessreader)
    nessreader: Both about race, writing, and publishing
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Wow! This book describes every writer’s nightmare. First up is the controversial way June obtains her manuscript. After all, she didn’t kill Athena, right? However, she committed plagiarism by snatching up the bare bones of Athena’s outline. Still, June did her due diligence to shape it into a novel. So, is it? Stealing ideas/plots/themes from others seems to be the debate at the heart of this book. However, the author touches on almost every other aspect of the publishing business, from the promotion (or lack of) of marginalized writers’ work, the unfair advantage of more attractive or socially acceptable writers, and how adept writers might be at handling themselves on social media. The internet has changed how we view the world and treat others. As an Indie author, I’ve experienced this firsthand. It can be an excellent and valuable tool; however, people can do anything they want online and remain faceless.

I found the main protagonist, June, to be egotistical and self-obsessed, but at the same time, naive and gullible. She’s not a stellar example of a novelist. None of the characters in this book are very likable. However, her nail-biting journey was impossible to turn away from. I found this book riveting and couldn’t read it fast enough. On another note, the issue of not being able to tell another ethnic group’s story because you don’t belong to the club is nonsense. I can think of two excellent books written by authors who have successfully written about other cultures—Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. I know this is a very controversial matter with some people, but to me, a good book is a good book. It’s not easy to research, write, and promote. If you do the work, you deserve the credit. ( )
  PaulaGalvan | Mar 1, 2024 |
Series Info/Source: This is a stand alone book. I borrowed this on audiobook from the library.

Thoughts: This was okay. This is different from Kuang's other books and is a contemporary fiction about a writer who steals her dead friend's book and passes it off as her own. What follows is a dark comedy of success, guilt, and the gray areas in the publishing industry.

Some of this is darkly funny and some of this is sad. I am not a huge fan of books where people are constantly selfish and trying to undercut each other. This book really delves into the nasty and mean side of social media and how people can somewhat lazily destroy other people's lives via this medium.

While the look into the publishing industry was intriguing, I hope that what happens in this book is exaggerated and not completely accurate. In general I found the way the main protagonist, June, hangs onto everyone else's opinion to be sad and immature.

I guess I just didn't find this funny, as much as a sad commentary on what the publishing world and social media have become. I also didn't enjoy how the book just ended with very little closure.

My Summary (3/5): Overall, I could have taken or left this. I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as Kuang's Poppy War series. I will admit this delves into the same areas of gray morality that the Poppy War delves into, however, this series is just too mean and I didn't like how open the ending was. ( )
  krau0098 | Feb 29, 2024 |
https://fromtheheartofeurope.eu/yellowface-by-r-f-kuang/

This is a grim and also funny book about the lifestyle of a bestselling author. The protagonist, June Hayward, watches her successful writer friend Athena Liu die in an accident in the first chapter, then takes her unpublished manuscript and successfully sells it as her own. June makes some awful decisions and is repeatedly confronted with the consequences of her actions; there’s also some wickedly vicious commentary on the perception of Chinese culture and especially Chinese history in today’s America (and I don’t think that other Western countries would be very different). It’s a short but compulsive read; you can’t quite believe that June has got herself into a position where her career success depends on a gruesome lie, but you can absolutely believe the contortions that follow. ( )
  nwhyte | Feb 24, 2024 |
Heard a lot about this book and received a copy for the holidays. Learned a bit about another view on the joys of being a published author, as well as a tangled tale of author ownership. Also was a great use of my Asian Studies major back in the day. Will keep my eye out for more by this author. ( )
  bookczuk | Feb 24, 2024 |
I devoured this in two sittings and was shrieking the whole time- it’s a snarky, satirical masterpiece that pulls no punches as Kuang examines white privilege, the publishing industry, and the exploitation of stories that belong to other people. Kuang never fails to impress and leave me with a whole multitude of things to think about and reconsider. ( )
  deborahee | Feb 23, 2024 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
R.F. Kuangautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Laser, HelenNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mitchell, SuzanneCasting director, exec. producerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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After the death of her literary rival in a freak accident, author June Hayward steals her just-finished masterpiece, sending it to her agent as her own work, but as emerging evidence threatens her success, she discovers how far she'll go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

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