From the author of the outstanding Chemistry comes Joan is Okay, a piercingly insightful novel and our book of the month this May.
Weike Wang’s second novel centres on Joan, a thirty-something ICU doctor at a busy New York City hospital. The daughter of Chinese parents who came to the United States to secure the American dream for their children, Joan is intensely devoted to her work, happily solitary, successful. She does sometimes wonder where her true roots lie: at the hospital, where her white coat makes her feel needed, or with her family, who try to shape her life by their own cultural and social expectations.
After moving to the United States to secure the American dream for their children, Joan’s parents have returned to China, hoping to spend the rest of their lives in their homeland now that Joan and her brother are well established in their careers. But when her father suddenly dies, a series of events sends Joan spiralling out of her comfort zone, forcing her to consider her life anew just as the chaos of COVID-19 descends.
Praise for Joan is Okay:
‘With gimlet-eyed observation and laced with darkly biting wit, Joan Is Okay is a deeply felt portrait of a woman who’s effaced herself to survive—and how, in the face of devastating loss, she’s forced to confront her grief and her place in the world. In her second novel, Weike Wang masterfully probes the existential uncertainty of being other in America.’
– Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere
‘Joan isn’t just okay, she’s wonderful. I could listen to her smart, witty voice forever. Incisive yet tender, written with elegant style and delicious comic verve, Wang’s story of the day-to-day life of a gifted young Chinese-American ICU doctor amply fulfils the outstanding promise of her debut novel.’
– Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend
‘A wry, wise and simply spectacular book.’
– People (US)
‘Wang’s sense of humour makes [Joan Is Okay] both a page-turner and a poignant reflection on the familial ruptures caused by immigrating.’
– Tomi Obaro, Buzzfeed
Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang is published on 26th May 2022
(Text Publishing Company, 9781922458483, p/b, £10.99)