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R. F. Kuang on seeing herself in Yellowface

By Kobo • March 06, 2024Kobo in Conversation Podcast

"There was a period in 2021 when I was on Twitter almost every day, and I'm glad I've since recovered from that. But I've always been so fortunate to have somebody else who I can call.

And that more than anything has helped me to not go down June's path."

Nathan spoke with R. F. Kuang, author of the epic historical fantasy trilogy The Poppy War, as well as the 2022 novel, also a work of historical fantasy called Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution.

R. F. Kuang’s latest novel is Yellowface. It’s the story of June Hayward and Athena Liu, a pair of writers on the rise—one of whom is rising significantly faster than the other, until a fatal freak accident leaves the survivor holding an unfinished manuscript and facing a very tempting proposition.

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

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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