The Chosen and the Beautiful is a stunning fantasy reimagining of The Great Gatsby with Jordan Baker — recast as a queer, immigrant, adoptee — at the center. Nghi Vo weaves magic into the very fabric of Fitzgerald’s classic and with the same deft hand conjures some of the most magical sentences I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Seductive, subversive, and dazzling. Recommended By Sarah R., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Nghi Vo's stellar transformation of The Great Gatsby recasts the 'careless' Jordan Baker as a woman of depth and sharpness, a socialite forced to live in the margins of others' lives. In Vo's telling, the glitter of Gatsby's parties conceals a sinister struggle — one where the players must survive on charms both literal and figurative, and the line between the invented and the real is endlessly blurred. Like Jordan's own paper creations, The Chosen and the Beautiful captivates with its artistry and its power." Helene Wecker, author of The Golem and the Jinni
"The Chosen and the Beautiful is gorgeous and gripping, shining with language that shows us all the facets and dangers of yearning. Nghi Vo subverts and expands the possibilities of an American story, and magic is in the marrow of every sentence. I'm in awe of this book's expansive imagination and its exploration of what it means to discover desire, make your own myths, and define your belonging." K-Ming Chang, author of Bestiary and a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree
"Decadent. Visual. Imaginative. Genius. Not enough words to praise this page-turning novel of sorcery, infernal compacts, and enchanted elixirs, in an altogether different 1920s New York. Nghi Vo snips apart, then magically weaves together a familiar story in a wholly original and decidedly unfamiliar way. Redo all the classics. And do them like this!" P. Djèlí Clark, winner of the Alex, Locus, and Nebula Awards and author of Ring Shout
About the Author
Nghi Vo was born in central Illinois, and she retains a healthy respect for and love of corn mazes, scarecrows, and fifty-year floods. These days, she lives on the shores of Lake Michigan, which is less a lake than an inland sea that she is sure is just biding its time. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, PodCastle, and Fireside, and her short story "Neither Witch nor Fairy" made the 2014 Otherwise (formerly Tiptree) Award Honor List. Nghi mostly writes about food, death, and family, but sometimes detours into blood, love, and rhetoric. She believes in the ritual of lipstick, the power of stories, and the right to change your mind.