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Rebecca F. Kuang
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What’s the harm in a pseudonym? 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: 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 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 takes on questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation not only in the publishing industry but the persistent erasure of Asian-American voices and history by Western white society. R. F. Kuang’s novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable.


“This is a great read. Crime, satire, horror, paranoia, questions of cultural appropriation. Plenty of nasty social media pile-ons, too. But, basically, just a great story. Hard to put down, harder to forget.” -Stephen King, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Viciously satisfying" and "Addictive." -New York Times Book Review

"Reading Yellowface felt like being inside a wild, brutal, psychological knife fight with a deranged clown. A merciless satire that left me screaming inside... from both its horror and humor." -Constance Wu, star of Crazy Rich Asians and author of Making a Scene


Rebecca F. Kuang is a Marshall Scholar, translator, and the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Award-nominated author of the Poppy War trilogy, the #1 New York Times bestselling Babel, and Yellowface. She has an MPhil in Chinese Studies from Cambridge and a MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from Oxford; she is now pursuing a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University.

Readers' comments

Yellowface is a strong contemporary debut, its juicy gossip tell all vibe makes it a deliciously breezy read.

I do find the depictions of the mechanizations of the publishing industry to be accurate and realistic but whats different here is that I cant help but feel Kuangs voice is visible; piercing through her characters and bleeding across the pages. Sometimes I wonder how memoir-like this book feels.