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Sex and Vanity: A Novel
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2020
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Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GMA BOOK CLUB PICK • The author of the international phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians takes us from Capri to NYC, where a young woman finds herself torn between two men—and two very different cultures.

"Another riveting tale of privilege, culture and romance ... extravagant fashion and deceit, resulting in one truly modern love story." —CNN

On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can't stand him. She can't stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can't stand that he knows more about Casa Malaparte than she does, and she really can't stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa and they are caught by her snobbish, disapproving cousin Charlotte.
The daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a blue-blooded New York father, Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side, and she adamantly denies having feelings for George. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears in East Hampton, where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucie is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment building, and, ultimately, herself as she tries mightily to deny George entry into her world—and her heart. Moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to A Room with a View, and a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/30/2020
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385546287
ASIN:
B085D7WQP4

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Kevin Kwan. (2020). Sex and Vanity: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Kevin Kwan. 2020. Sex and Vanity: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Kevin Kwan, Sex and Vanity: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2020.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Kevin Kwan. Sex and Vanity: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2020.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GMA BOOK CLUB PICK • The author of the international phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians takes us from Capri to NYC, where a young woman finds herself torn between two men—and two very different cultures.

"Another riveting tale of privilege, culture and romance ... extravagant fashion and deceit, resulting in one truly modern love story." —CNN

On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can't stand him. She can't stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can't stand that he knows more about Casa Malaparte than she does, and she really can't stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa and they are caught by her snobbish, disapproving cousin Charlotte.
The daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a blue-blooded New York father, Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side, and she adamantly denies having feelings for George. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears in East Hampton, where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucie is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment building, and, ultimately, herself as she tries mightily to deny George entry into her world—and her heart. Moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to A Room with a View, and a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus
      • content: "True love will find a way, even among the status-obsessed and filthy rich... [With] irresistibly knowing humor and delightful central characters... While he's engineering the timeless love story and continuing our postgraduate education in all the things money can buy, Kwan manages to take a few swipes against snobbery and racism. Nice. This is the only way you're getting to Capri this year. Why resist?"
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from May 15, 2020
        True love will find a way, even among the status-obsessed and filthy rich. There are few authors who could pull off wealth porn in the current cultural moment--perhaps only one. Kwan, author of the insanely popular Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, again manages to enchant, though this is crazy and rich without the Asian locales, food, and other cultural details. While the locations of this book--the isle of Capri and the Hamptons--are certainly glamorous and full of rich people, they are no Singapore or Hong Kong. Kwan overcomes that with his irresistibly knowing humor and delightful central characters. Lucie Tang Churchill ("92nd St. Y Nursery School / Brearley / Brown"; the educational resume of every character is provided like this) is Chinese American, and her love interest, George Zao, is "a Chinese boy from Hong Kong who had spent a few years in Australia," leaving him with an Aussie accent and a surfboard. They meet and become aware of their furious vibrational connection at an over-the-top wedding on Capri--but a complete disaster intervenes to keep them apart. Well, not a disaster disaster, more of a public relations disaster. It involves drones. Next thing we know, Lucie is engaged to a simply awful, nouveau riche, social media-obsessed white boy named Cecil Pike, who has somehow been pronounced by Esquire "The Most Desired Dude on the Planet." A faithful Kwan-ite will see poor Cecil immediately for the plot device he is: "The Obstacle," who drives a Meteor over Fountain Blue Bentley Mulsanne and wears bespoke Corthay "Cannes" suede loafers. While he's engineering the timeless love story and continuing our postgraduate education in all the things money can buy, Kwan manages to take a few swipes against snobbery and racism. Nice. This is the only way you're getting to Capri this year. Why resist?

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 18, 2020
        Kwan follows up his Crazy Rich Asians trilogy with an intoxicating, breezy update of E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View. Lucie Tang Churchill, 19, a privileged “hapa” (she is half Chinese, half WASP) attends her richer friend Isabel’s wedding in Capri. After Lucie meets Isabel’s cousin George Zao, a rich, handsome, Chinese-Australian surfer, she becomes a “bundle of conflicting emotions,” repulsed by her attraction to the “brooding weirdo took himself much too seriously.” Still, they hook up, at risk of jeopardizing Lucie’s reputation as an eligible bride. Four years later, Lucie and George’s paths cross in New York, only now Lucie is engaged to Cecil Pike. However, Lucy can’t get George out of her mind, and she is flummoxed by his kindness. When Lucy, George, and Cecil attend a film screening featuring a sex scene that reminds her of what she did with George in Capri, Lucie doubles down on suppressing her true desires. Kwan exploits the Forster frame for clever references—including Merchant and Ivory—and provides amusing footnotes. Kwan also relishes describing lavish meals and haute couture clothing, as well as Isabel’s decadent wedding and Cecil’s imaginative, over-the-top proposal. There are moments both catty and witty, but this delectable comedy of manners—the literary equivalent of white truffle and caviar pizza—is still pizza.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2020
        Lucie Tang Churchill is a stylish but naive biracial 19-year-old, accompanied to an extravagantly fabulous wedding on Capri by her middle-aged cousin, Charlotte, who is obsessed with ensuring that the nouveau riche display the proper reverence for the from-the-Mayflower side of the family. They encounter the bombastically generous Rosemary Zao and her handsome, intense son, George, whom Lucie immediately dislikes?until she doesn't?but then a potential scandal tears them apart. Five years later, Lucie is an in-demand art dealer, engaged to the billennial (billionaire millennial) Cecil Pike, and very happy, until George (and his mother) reenters her social circle. The plot is perhaps not the most important element for Kwan's (Crazy Rich Asians, 2013) fans, who most love his over-the-top characters, ridiculously lavish details, and catty, fourth-wall-breaking narration, all of which are gloriously represented here; there are jewels galore, and a West Village apartment with an indoor canal and gondoliers on retainer. Lucie's story also touches on racism, both external (and familial) and internalized, as she fights her attraction to George. The resolution adds another satisfying layer to this frothy, escapist delight. HIGH DEMAND BACKSTORY: Kwan's first outing since the Crazy Rich Asians series, which begat a huge movie in 2018, arrives just in time for summer reading.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        July 1, 2020

        Crazy Rich Asians creator Kwan returns with a novel inspired by E.M. Forster's A Room with a View, in which 19-year-old Lucie Churchill, daughter of a Chinese American mother and blue-blood New York father, travels to Capri for a wedding. The eye-poppingly opulent celebration lasts for days. Things heat up when Lucie meets George Zao and his ever-present mother, who hilariously begins many of her sentences with "hiyah." Lucie tries to ignore her attraction to George, but she keeps bumping into him, and they have a romance, which ends when members of the wedding party return home. Several years later, Lucie plans to marry WASPy, wealthy fianc� Cecil, who is mostly fixated on his Instagram likes, and finds her family irritating and boring. Kwan's usual delightful humor appears in his trademark footnotes, particularly those proclaiming everyone's pedigree. Touches such as Milk Duds served at a Hollywood movie screening are amusing as well. The situation changes abruptly when the Zaos move to New York and Lucie and George keep running into each other. As Lucie learns a few truths, she makes some important decisions. VERDICT This is an enjoyable book, especially for those who like reading about the lives of the privileged and for fans of the author. [See Prepub Alert, 3/11/20.]--Susan G. Baird, formerly with Oak Lawn P.L., IL

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GMA BOOK CLUB PICK • The author of the international phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians takes us from Capri to NYC, where a young woman finds herself torn between two men—and two very different cultures.

"Another riveting tale of privilege, culture and romance ... extravagant fashion and deceit, resulting in one truly modern love story." —CNN

On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can't stand him. She can't stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can't stand that he knows more about Casa Malaparte than she does, and she really can't stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa and they are caught by her snobbish, disapproving cousin Charlotte.
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