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Bookseller Pick
The Chosen and the Beautiful

$22.99 USD

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Publication date: June 01, 2021

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The Chosen and the Beautiful

Bookseller Recommendation

The Chosen and the Beautiful

“A retelling of The Great Gatsby from the perspective of Jordan Baker, who in this concept is a Vietnamese adoptee raised in Louisville. In this version of the roaring 20s, alongside the usual speakeasies and flapper dresses, there’s a reality of demons, ghosts, mysteries, devilish bargains, and magic. Hell is quite literally another location from which beings can emigrate, and every culture has its own intriguing brand of magic. Jordan’s is paper cutting, and she can do wondrous, horrifying things with it. ...Refreshingly, instead of a fantasy plot that revolves around a character honing their powers, montage-style, to save the day, Vo focuses on Jordan’s personality instead. Jordan has always kept her heart aloof, entangling herself with men and women of the smart set, but this summer with Daisy, Gatsby, and quiet and observant Nick Carraway, will change her. is thoughtfully constructed, w/ Jordan’s expanded backstory informing and deepening the beats of the original. On a sentence level, the cadence and tone make you feel right at home in a 1920s classic, even when characters drink demon blood as an aperitif or discuss the troubling influence demons are beginning to have over US politics. And though you know exactly where the plot is headed, there are plenty of shocks and surprises for careful readers. Vo clearly loves and understands the original novel so well, and has accomplished not so much a retelling but a worthy companion piece, a fierce and powerful flip side to one of the great American novels.”

Magers & Quinn Booksellers image Annie, Magers & Quinn Booksellers


A Most Anticipated in 2021 Pick for Oprah Magazine | USA Today | Buzzfeed | Greatist | BookPage | PopSugar | The Nerd Daily | Goodreads | Literary Hub | Ms. Magazine | Library Journal

"Gatsby the way it should have been written—dark, dazzling, fantastical."—R. F. Kuang

"Luxurious, thrilling, and sexy."—Adrienne Celt

Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.

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.

A Macmillan Audio production from Tordotcom

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