Athena Liu and June Hayward are fellow Yale University graduates and authors, but while Athena’s debut novel soars to the top of bestseller lists, June’s quietly fades into obscurity. June feels like everything is stacked against her until, by accident, she is present at Athena’s death—and in the chaotic aftermath, she steals Athena’s final manuscript to edit and publish as her own. In Yellowface (8.5 hours), R.F. Kuang tells a darkly funny story about culture and media that will resonate with readers and writers alike.
Helen Laser’s narration brings June’s cutting inner voice to life, immersing listeners in her bitter emotions about a writer’s role in contemporary publishing. Laser’s performance of June’s frantic, defensive first-person perspective renders the sarcasm so biting, the reasoning so desperate, that listeners will find it difficult to turn away from the scandal of the story.
Outrageous and highly relevant, Yellowface is a provocative listen that turns a critical eye on modern publishing. As listeners barrel through this audiobook, they’ll find themselves asking the core question of the novel: Who has the right to tell a story, and why.