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NYC author examines coming-of-age as a Chinese American in debut novel

Brooklyn BookBeat

April 25, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Weike Wang. Photo by Saavedra Photography

At first glance, the quirky, overworked narrator of Weike Wang’s debut novel seems to be on the cusp of a perfect life: she is studying for a prestigious PhD in chemistry that will make her Chinese parents proud (or at least satisfied), and her successful, supportive boyfriend has just proposed to her. But instead of feeling hopeful, she is wracked with ambivalence: the long, demanding hours at the lab have created an exquisite pressure cooker, and she doesn’t know how to answer the marriage question. When it all becomes too much and her life plan veers off course, she finds herself on a new path of discoveries about everything she thought she knew. Smart, moving and always funny, this unique coming-of-age story is certain to evoke a winning reaction. A luminous and very funny debut novel from a “5-Under-35” honoree, “Chemistry” follows a young Chinese-American woman who must discover what she really wants before her life can truly begin.

Wang will appear at Books Are Magic tomorrow (Thursday, April 26) at 7:30 p.m. She and author Jana Casale (“The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky”) will discuss their new works with moderator Karah Preiss, co-founder of Belletrist.

A graduate of Harvard University, Wang earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry and her doctorate in public health. She received her MFA from Boston University. Her fiction has been published in literary magazines, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Glimmer Train and Ploughshares, which also named “Chemistry” the winner of its John C. Zacharis Award. A “5-Under-35” honoree of the National Book Foundation, Weike currently lives in New York City.

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