"Yellowface" book event featuring author R.F. Kuang
June and Athena were literary twins, but Athena became a superstar while June's writing was ignored. When Athena dies in a bizarre accident, June takes Athena's latest book and pretends it's her own. As she tries to keep her secret, June realizes just how far she’ll go to keep her fame.
Time & Location
DAY OF THE WEEK
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About the Event
One Book, One ND book event with author R.F. Kuang
One Book One North Dakota is a statewide book club that features best-selling authors in a 60-minute webinar. Attendees are encouraged to participate in a Q&A with the author.
Sunday, Feb. 4
About the book:
Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena’s a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. Who wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks. So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I.
So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song—complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.
But June can’t get away from Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.
With its totally immersive first-person voice, Yellowface grapples with questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the terrifying alienation of social media. R.F. Kuang’s novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable.
Rebecca F. Kuang is the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Poppy War trilogy and Babel: An Arcane History, as well as the forthcoming Yellowface. She has an MPhil in Chinese Studies from Cambridge and an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from Oxford; she is now pursuing a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale.
Jed Locquiao currently works as an assistant professor of special education at the State University of New York at Oswego. They proudly worked at Minnesota State University Moorhead and Washoe County School District to prepare teacher candidates and support students with diverse developmental characteristics.
One Book, One ND events are sponsored by the Paris Family Foundation and Prairie Public
HND Value Statement
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota. However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally. Therefore, our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University. To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.
Humanities North Dakota classes and events are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities