“What a delight. In the first few pages, you’ll be struck by the unusual narrative voice; after a few pages more, you’ll be absolutely hooked. There’s so much comedy in this story, about a young chemist navigating the pressures of her academic field along with the confusion of her first serious adult romance, but it’s deliciously dry, sly humor. Give a copy to every high-achieving, socially awkward person you know—and all the people who love them.”
— Mary Laura Philpott, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN
Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award A Washington Post Notable Book One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Ann Patchett on PBS NewsHour, Minnesota Public Radio, PopSugar, Maris Kreizman, The Morning News Winner of Ploughshares' John C. Zacharis Award
Winner of a Whiting Award A Belletrist Amuse Book
At first glance, the quirky, overworked narrator of Weike Wang's debut novel seems to be on the cusp of a perfect life: she is studying for a prestigious PhD in chemistry that will make her Chinese parents proud (or at least satisfied), and her successful, supportive boyfriend has just proposed to her. But instead of feeling hopeful, she is wracked with ambivalence: the long, demanding hours at the lab have created an exquisite pressure cooker, and she doesn't know how to answer the marriage question. When it all becomes too much and her life plan veers off course, she finds herself on a new path of discoveries about everything she thought she knew. Smart, moving, and always funny, this unique coming-of-age story is certain to evoke a winning reaction.
About the Author
Weike Wang is a graduate of Harvard University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry and her doctorate in public health. Her first novel, Chemistry, received the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, Ploughshares' John C. Zacharis Award, and a Whiting Award. A "5 Under 35" honoree of the National Book Foundation, Weike currently lives in New York City.