Yellowface by R.F. Kuang, published 16 May 2023.

An Asian American author writes a story about an American author stealing the first draft of an Asian American author, edits said draft and publishes it as her own historical fiction work about Chinese labourers during WW I.

Once I had wrapped my brain around this I could at least enjoy the parts where Kuang’s heavy handed commentary about the publishing world and its social media circus takes a backseat and the relationship between June and Athena drives the narrative.

I had hoped for more character depth and less ham-fisted commentary, since the latter was also something I disliked about Kuang’s Babel. Alas, it didn’t happen.

I initially gave the book 4/5 Harpy Eagles, but after a lot of thought – yes, the book is thought provoking – I am going to give it

3/5 Harpy Eagles