Yellowface is the latest offering from Rebecca F Kuang, an American fantasy and contemporary fiction writer known for her award-winning New York bestselling novel Poppy War trilogy and Babel: An Arcane History. Yellowface is slightly different from the usual genre of Rebecca F Kuang as she steps into the literary fiction. The story revolves around June Heywood, a struggling author who thinks she is under the shadow of her best friend Athena Liu who was a successful author. Unfortunately, Athena died in a fatal accident and June takes the unfinished work of Athena. It was a book about the challenges that Chinese migrant faced during the World War I. June edits it and publishes it with her own name.
This book also talks about the way publishers treat the authors, the tokensim and specially the treat with the new and budding writers. Publishing is a business that is actually based on trends and of the writer does not fit that trend, he/she will be excluded. This book also covers the discourse within the online book spaces and authors in reader’s space. This book also explores the topic of should the authors of a definite race or ethnicity are permitted to write about the experiences of other races as well as ethnic groups. It raises the question, is it okay to tell the stories and where are the border when you are telling these tales for your profit?
Like all the other works of RF Kuang’s previous works, her books are not just accessible but was done very intelligently. Her styles and intelligence is evident into the pages of this book. She offers thought-provoking story and she has inserted the words from her previous books as well. There are some awesome points which are made in this book. Topics which are true to life that can be seen on our publishing industry and online book community plus the privilege that exist.
June is more interested about being recognized as a victim and being popular other than taking a close look at her work and figuring out why people are not liking it. In order to get the validation, she is ready to do anything, even if it involves stealing and enduring severe criticism. Athena Lie should also be not left alone. It is evident that there is no good people featured in this book. Everyone is focused on their own interests.