Real Americans (Paperback)

Real Americans By Rachel Khong Cover Image
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May 2024 Indie Next List

“Rachel Khong’s latest tells the story of a first generation American’s adulthood and her teenage son looking for answers 20 years later. Real Americans grapples with racial identity, family inheritance, and becoming one’s true self.”
— Rebekah Rine, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, KS


A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK - From the award-winning author of Goodbye, Vitamin How far would you go to shape your own destiny? An exhilarating novel of American identity that spans three generations in one family and asks: What makes us who we are? And how inevitable are our futures?

"Mesmerizing"--Brit Bennett - "A page turner."--Ha Jin - "Gorgeous, heartfelt, soaring, philosophical and deft"--Andrew Sean Greer - "Traverses time with verve and feeling."--Raven Leilani

Real Americans begins on the precipice of Y2K in New York City, when twenty-two-year-old Lily Chen, an unpaid intern at a slick media company, meets Matthew. Matthew is everything Lily is not: easygoing and effortlessly attractive, a native East Coaster, and, most notably, heir to a vast pharmaceutical empire. Lily couldn't be more different: flat-broke, raised in Tampa, the only child of scientists who fled Mao's Cultural Revolution. Despite all this, Lily and Matthew fall in love.

In 2021, fifteen-year-old Nick Chen has never felt like he belonged on the isolated Washington island where he lives with his single mother, Lily. He can't shake the sense she's hiding something. When Nick sets out to find his biological father, the journey threatens to raise more questions than it provides answers.

In immersive, moving prose, Rachel Khong weaves a profound tale of class and striving, race and visibility, and family and inheritance--a story of trust, forgiveness, and finally coming home.

Exuberant and explosive, Real Americans is a social novel par excellence that asks: Are we destined, or made? And if we are made, who gets to do the making? Can our genetic past be overcome?

About the Author

RACHEL KHONG is the author of Goodbye, Vitamin, winner of the California Book Award for First Fiction and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR; O, The Oprah Magazine; Vogue; and Esquire. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Cut, The Guardian, The Paris Review, and Tin House. In 2018, she founded The Ruby, a work and event space for women and nonbinary writers and artists in San Francisco's Mission District. She lives in California.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593802373
ISBN-10: 0593802373
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication Date: April 30th, 2024
Pages: 416
Language: English