The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society―she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer and Asian, a Vietnamese adoptee treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.
But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.
Nghi Vo’s debut novel, The Chosen and the Beautiful, reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.
“Deserves to be read alongside the book that inspired it. Vo’s prose is beautifully supple, and the novel shines when she reads “Gatsby” against the grain... A sumptuous, decadent read.”―The New York Times
“Vo has crafted a retelling that, in many ways, surpasses the original, adding logic and depth to characters’ motivations while still―uncannily―unspooling the familiar story. Astonishingly crafted, with luscious prose and appeal for both fans of the original and those who always felt The Great Gatsby missed the mark.”―Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*
"An utterly captivating series of speakeasies, back-seat trysts, parties both grand and intimate and romances both magical and mundane. . . . Vo is a remarkable writer whose talent for reviving Fitzgerald’s style of prose is reminiscent of Susanna Clarke channeling Jane Austen in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. But it is Vo’s additions to Gatsby’s original plot that truly shine. . . . [She] has transformed The Great Gatsby utterly." ―BookPage, *starred review*
"The Chosen and the Beautiful finds Jordan fighting for her place in this Gatsby-adjacent world as an outsider, a plight that Vo illuminates in heartbreaking specificity."―TIME Magazine