Kirstin Chen’s Counterfeit is a sly novel that defies expectations, twisting and turning in ways that produce a sharp inversion of Asian and Asian American stereotypes. The novel follows Ava Wong, a Chinese American lawyer and mother whose life is upended when she is pulled into an international scam to sell counterfeit luxury purses. As the novel moves along, Chen peels back layers of irony and deception, revealing the ways in which Ava’s story plays with biases – in order to subvert them.
In this exclusive event, Chen will reflect upon some of the core themes of her work, including Asian American identity, cultural belonging, and feminism. Along the way, we’ll learn about how Chen uses plot twists, humor, and other narrative techniques to achieve her incisive cultural commentary. The conversation will be moderated by writer and podcaster Grace Ly.
About the speakers:
Kirstin Chen is the author of three novels: Counterfeit, Bury What We Cannot Take, and Soy Sauce for Beginners. Her forthcoming book, Tech Wives, unmasks the myth of tech founders as solitary geniuses by contemplating the women who enable their success.
Grace Ly is a writer and podcaster based in Paris, France. She is the author of « Est-ce que tu as faim ? (Are you hungry?) » (2023), a children’s book illustrated by Mélody Ung and a novel “Jeune fille modèle” (Model Teenager) (2018). The webseries “Ça reste entre nous” (« Just between us ») focuses on the plurality of paths and choices of French East and South-East Asians along 6 episodes. Since 2018, she co-hosts the podcast “Kiffe ta race” with journalist and director Rokhaya Diallo and explores how race affects everyday life in France.