First of all, before we even get into BookSparks’ latest Summer Reading Challenge novel, RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS, let’s just agree that author, Kevin Kwan’s novels, CRAZY RICH ASIANS and its sequel, CHINA RICH GIRLFRIEND are absolutely BRILLIANT – BRILLIANT! Both are being turned into films! Whoever designed the covers is also so smart; the continuity of the look is so fresh! LOVE IT! Yes, I’m excited!
In RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS (Doubleday), the entire Shang-Young clan has converged in Singapore from all corners of the globe, Switzerland, New York City, Paris, India to get their piece of the inheritance from grandmother, Su Yi’s massive fortune – especially, Tyersall Park, the estate sitting on sixty-four pristine acres in the heart of Singapore. We’re not talking about millions, it’s billions, baby! The claws are out! Only the fittest of the fit will survive.
It’s your 2017 version of “Dallas” or “Dynasty” – so not, American-style. It’s typical Housewives of wherever, except the Asian version. Astrid Leong is in love with her old sweetheart, but tormented by her ex-hubby, a man hell-bent on destroying her. Kitty Pong, married to China’s second richest man, Jack Bing feels second best to her new step-daughter couture-gown costumed, it-girl, Collette Bing. We’re living large in Manila mansions, getting kidnapped at Hong Kong’s most elite private schools, the telephoto lens of the paparazzi are snapping shots they shouldn’t be snapping. In the societal pecking order, Chinese nouveau rich is considered low-class to Hong Kong’s older money. I love how Kevin write’s the English translation of Chinese words on the bottom of the pages. It’s a mini language lesson.
Bottom line, the rich have an distinct way of behaving that is uniquely their own, and Kevin Kwan captures it. The family drama is juicy and delectable! As Tolstoy wrote, “Happy families are alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Anna Karenina.
Kevin Kwan was born and raised in Singapore. When he was eleven, he moved to the United States.
After obtaining his first degree in creative writing from the University of Houston, Kevin moved to Manhattan to pursue a BFA at Parsons School of Design. Kevin’s early years in the city were spent working for Martha Stewart Living, Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, and M&Co, the legendary design firm founded by Tibor Kalman.
In 2000, Kevin established his own creative studio, where he specialized in producing high-profile visual projects for clients such as the New York Times, the Museum of Modern Art, Rockwell Group, and TED.com. Many unforgettable experiences followed, like creating the ultimate publishing tribute to Oprah Winfrey’s groundbreaking television show, handling Elizabeth Taylor’s fabled jewel collection while producing Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry, and serving as the visual consultant forgh the re-launch of the TED website, which exceeded a billion views in November 2012.
Throughout all this, Kevin always remained passionate about books. As he became sought after as a visual consultant by acclaimed authors like Michael Korda, Gore Vidal, and Larry McMurtry, Kevin was inspired to return to his first love—writing. His critically acclaimed debut novel, CRAZY RICH ASIANS became an international bestseller in 2013 and is now being made into a major motion picture by director Jon M. Chu and Warner Brothers Studios. Its sequel, CHINA RICH GIRLFRIEND also became a smash hit around the world, is becoming a film. RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS is the final novel in the trilogy.
Kevin still resides in Manhattan, eats too much pasta, dreams of living in Italy.
Thanks to BookSparks and Doubleday, we have one copy of RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS to giveaway. Just tell us what book you’re looking forward to reading this Memorial Day weekend. There are so many exciting books to choose from. We’ll announce a winner Monday.