Last week, during a much-needed, 48-hour trip to the beach, I pulled out a book I'd been saving for just such an occasion: Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians, the blockbuster of a book whose film adaptation is set to hit screens any day. And as I opened to the first page and took a cleansing, I-can't-wait-to-read-about-the-seedy-social-underbelly-of-the-fantastically-wealthy, I noticed Crazy Rich Asians' distinctive cover peeking out from the umbrella next to me. It seems like everyone is speeding through Kevin Kwans' debut novel these days. And what are we supposed to do when it's over?! Well, here are books to read if you loved Crazy Rich Asians.
First published in 2013, Crazy Rich Asians is actually the first of a trilogy revolving around the hyper-wealthy families of Singapore (China Rich Girlfriend is the second in the series, and Rich People Problems is the third). Kwan himself identifies as Singaporean (rather than Chinese), and comes from an incredibly long line of "establishment families," reaching back to the 900s.
In a recent article for Town & Country, Kwan shared several family photos from the 1920s, replete with fancy cars, enormous estates and elaborate art deco aesthetics. The people Kwan writes about? He knows them, intimately. Kwan masterfully weaves rom-com elements and family drama into his stories, pulling out strands that are relatable to anyone, not just those in proximity to glamour and wealth. And within the following eight books, you will find a number of common themes, from truth-telling satire to the search for belonging.