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Saturday, September 30, 2023

YellowfaceYellowface by R.F. Kuang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had a good time with this, but there is one thing I need to be very clear on. As a writer, I love writers writing on writing and writers, of the publishing industry, of the madness of jealousy and bad decisions, of the whole ball of wax.

If you hate that kind of thing, avoid this book. If you get a kick out of popular up-and-coming authors revealing a quagmire of imposter-syndrome fiction and insecurity dressed up in a very topical and pretty hard-hitting focus on #ownvoices topics, this is also a pretty great book.

I rolled with it and loved every second, but that's me.

Yes, we've got ourselves a pretty great anti-hero, unreliable narrator, but there are a ton of great looks at appropriation and check-marks on a publisher's list -- not to mention some very real questions about censorship-by-cancellation, sensitivity readers, the whole question of whether a writer can/should write only what they know, etc.

I feel like I got to know Kuang pretty well even IF this is a fictionalized account of a fictional writer stealing another fictional writer's work and re-working it as her own. The subject matter is still real.

If this is up your alley, I totally recommend it.

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