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Explore 41 best book club questions, snack ideas and book club activities for R. F. Kuang’s Yellowface.
Yellowface is one of the most talked-about book in 2023. Although I had read the blurb before diving into the book, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of the story. But it definitely exceeded my expectations.
It goes above and beyond the story of two writers, Athena and June, delving into what goes on inside the publishing industry, including the drama and politics.
The storyline is full of twists, keeping you on the edge of your seat with suspense. And there are so many compelling topics to discuss in the book club, such as diversity, cultural appropriation, jealousy, and racism.
It’s also one of the best books I have read in 2023.
So, if your book club has picked Yellowface for discussion, let me help you with some great book club questions, book club snack ideas, along with fun activity suggestions.
I have also included a free PDF Yellowface book club guide with all these questions.
Book Summary Yellowface by R. F. Kuang
When her write friend Athena Liu sadly passes away. June Hayward takes advantage of the situation. She steals Athena’s not-yet-published book and releases it using the fake name Juniper Song. But difficulties come up, making her think about what she’s ready to do to keep what she took. The book talks about diversity, racism, cultural appropriation, and how social media can make someone feel alone.
43 Yellowface Book Club Questions
What are your thoughts on the title of the book, and how relevant is it to the overall plot?
How do you perceive June’s perspectives on the Asian community?
What is your opinion on June Hayward and her decision to steal Athena Liu’s manuscript? Do you find her justification convincing?
As a reader, did you sympathize with June Hayward? Why or why not?
Discuss the author’s choice to narrate the story through June’s perspective. Why do you think that is?
Examine June and Athena’s relationship timeline. Do you consider them genuine friends?
Do you believe Athena Liu is genuinely a great writer, or do you attribute her popularity to her ethnicity?
Discuss the circumstances surrounding Athena’s death. In retrospect, do you believe June could have taken more decisive actions to prevent it?
Do you believe June always desired to steal Athena’s fame, or did it occur due to favorable circumstances?
Is June a talented writer? Why do you think her novels never gained traction?
How does Yellowface talk about cancel culture, and how does the main character’s worry about being found out, especially with social media, affect the story?
How vital is the role of marketing in determining the future success of a book for an author?
Do you think social media has a negative impact on everyone, including authors? What precautions do you think authors should take while being on a social platform?
Do you think June will ever write her own novel without resorting to stealing from Athena?
What is your opinion of literary assistant Candace?
How did you find the climax of the novel?
Do you think the author R.F. Kuang has drawn from her own experience at HarperCollins?
In what ways does the novel incorporate elements of satire, and how effective is this literary device in conveying the themes of the story?
Discuss the quote “Awards don’t matter—at least, I am told this constantly by the people who regularly win them.”?
How does Yellowface explore the complex themes of cultural appropriation and racial identity?
How does Yellowface talk about June’s hard experiences, and how does it make her act and think in the story?
Do you think the publishing industry wields significant control over an author’s future?
What does the book say about who has power in the book business, especially the jobs of literary agents and editors?
How does Yellowface talk about using other cultures’ stuff and if it’s right or wrong? Also, how does it talk about telling stories where the truth can be changed?
Yellowface provides an exclusive look at what really goes on behind a bestselling book. What, in your opinion, are the essential ingredients for a successful novel?
Why do you think June agreed to change her name to Juniper Song?
How important are reviews for a new author? Discuss with examples from the book.
If June had taken the manuscript and Athena was still alive at the end, how do you think the story would have unfolded?
Do you believe Athena is a better writer than June?
What does the story say about wanting to get back at someone, and does June’s hard past make her do things in the story?
How does the novel handle June’s experience of sexual assault, and how does it influence the bigger story and who June becomes as a character?
Does Yellowface strike you as a humorous novel, and do you think it could have had more humor into its narrative?
What are your thoughts on June’s relationship with writing? How does the novel address the ethics of writing, including the idea of authors borrowing material?
Explore the character development of June Hayward.
Do you consider June an unreliable narrator?
How does Yellowface discuss the right and wrong ways of using other cultures in stories, and how does it show that truth can be different for different people?
In dealing with the idea of revenge, how does the story unfold, and to what degree does June’s difficult past push her to make certain decisions?
Discuss the role of the stolen manuscript as a plot device. How does it drive the narrative, and what impact does it have on the characters?
What do you think of the writing of the book? How does it contribute to the overall experience of the story?
Discuss the quote “They tell authors never to look at Goodreads, but nobody follows that advice—none of us can resist the urge to know how our work is being received.“
Have you ever written a negative review for a book? What do you think about it?
Yellowface Book Club Questions FREE PDF
Download the list of 41 book club questions for Yellowface. Get Now
Book Club Snack Ideas Yellowface
- Fortune Cookies: A classic treat for a book club
- Bao Buns: Steam or bake some bao buns filled with various savory or sweet fillings
- Tea Tasting: Set up a tea tasting station with a variety of Asian teas, allowing members to try different flavors while discussing the book.
- Asian-Inspired Finger Foods: Offer a selection of dumplings, edamame, and other Asian-inspired finger foods for easy snacking.
Book Club Activity Ideas for Yellowface
- Character Analysis: Assign each member a character from the book and have them analyze the character’s motivations, actions, and impact on the story.
- Literary Trivia: Prepare a trivia game related to the book.
- Book-Themed Playlist: Compile a playlist of songs that members feel capture the mood or themes of the novel. Play the playlist during your meeting and discuss each song’s connection to the story.
- Character Letter Writing: Have members write letters from one character to another, expressing their thoughts, emotions, and perspectives.
Books Similar to Yellowface
If you are looking for similar books like Yellowface for your next book club or to simply enjoy your own here are some great book recommendations.
- Disorientation by Elaine Chou – A blend of literary mystery and satirical commentary on the American campus novel. The story follows Ingrid Yang, a Taiwanese-American woman.
- The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz– The main character steal the plot idea from a diseased student.
- The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz-The novel blends gothic, spine-tingling vibes with the concept of a book within a book, a murder house, and themes of claustrophobia and being trapped in a single location.
- The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila – A literary thriller with a side of satire on the publishing world.
- White Ivy by Susie Yang – We have main character similar to June from Yellowface, someone who yearns for success at any cost.
Frequently Asked Questions about Yellowface
- What is the book Yellowface about?
Yellowface by R.F. Kuang is a satirical take on the publishing industry. It follows a struggling writer who, in a twist of fate, decides to present her deceased friend’s work as her own.
- Is Yellowface worth reading?
Whether “Yellowface” is worth reading depends on your taste. I found it to be a captivating and somewhat unsettling novel.
- What are the trigger warnings in Yellowface?
The trigger warning for Yellowface include microaggressions, bullying, cyberharassment, sexual assault ,emotional abuse, graphic death
How many pages is Yellowface the novel?
Yellowface is 330 pages long.
There you have thought-provoking questions ready for your Yellowface book club discussion. From character dynamics to the ins and outs of the publishing world, these questions cover a lot of ground. Also, don’t forget to download the free PDF guide.
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