Second book by R. F. Kuang that I'm reading in a row, after Babel (2022). Yellowface (2023) is her latest novel, published a couple of months ago. Yes there's quite a long waitlist for borrowing the audiobook via Libby.
There's some resemblance between the works via some of the themes, and yet the two books are completely different in genre and reading experience (think pacing). Kuang writes:
Babel was my big ponderous Dickensian bildungsroman; Yellowface, on the other hand, is a zippy, ridiculous, thriller meant to imitate the roiling schadenfreude of watching a Twitter meltdown. Babel is a slow read; Yellowface is meant to be devoured in a single sitting.
...and I (almost) did, going through the 9-hour audiobook in under two days. It was gripping and things kept escalating and I really wanted to know what would happen next and what next and what next.
Yellowface, far from Victorian-era Britain, is set in modern-day America and embraces internet culture (Twitter Goodreads and and)—in this way it reminded me of books by Hank Green et. al. Under the surface of a Twitter drama though, this is a novel about the workings (and dysfunctions) of the publishing industry, esp. in regards to race.
Kuang's debut novel The Poppy War (2018), that I'll try to read next—7 people ahead of me in the waitlist—is the first of a fantasy trilogy, which promises to be something entirely different again. Looking forward to it!