Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians”

Source: NYTimes, Jun 2013

This book name-drops about many different Asian cultures and mixes rude slang from Malay and the Cantonese and Hokkien dialects of Chinese. It also sniffs at American culture (Stanford: “It’s that school in California for people who can’t get into Harvard”) and wears its prejudices on its designer sleeve (“Mark’s not white, he’s Jewish — that’s basically Asian.”). Words like Chuppie, for Chinese Yuppie, may be offensive, but Mr. Kwan makes the most of them.

 And who knew that a Far Eastern fashion disaster might be described in such novel terms. “Never, ever wear green chiffon,” Mr. Kwan has one character warn, “unless you want to look like bok choy” that’s been violently abused.


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