Win Me Something

ISBN:
978-1-951142-73-5
Pub Date:
11/02/2021
List Price:
$16.95
Page Count:
280
ISBN:
978-1-951142-81-0
Pub Date:
11/02/2021
List Price:
$16.95
Page Count:
280

A Washington Post, Shondaland, Parade, Good Housekeeping, and LitHub Best Book of Fall and an Alma, The Millions, and Books are Magic Most Anticipated Book of 2021

A perceptive and powerful debut of identity and belonging—of a young woman determined to be seen.

Willa Chen has never quite fit in. Growing up as a biracial Chinese American girl in New Jersey, Willa felt both hypervisible and unseen, too Asian to fit in at her mostly white school, and too white to speak to the few Asian kids around. After her parents’ early divorce, they both remarried and started new families, and Willa grew up feeling outside of their new lives, too.

For years, Willa does her best to stifle her feelings of loneliness, drifting through high school and then college as she tries to quiet the unease inside her. But when she begins working for the Adriens—a wealthy white family in Tribeca—as a nanny for their daughter, Bijou, Willa is confronted with all of the things she never had. As she draws closer to the family and eventually moves in with them, Willa finds herself questioning who she is, and revisiting a childhood where she never felt fully at home. Self-examining and fraught with the emotions of a family who fails and loves in equal measure, Win Me Something is a nuanced coming-of-age debut about the irreparable fissures between people, and a young woman who asks what it really means to belong, and how she might begin to define her own life.

Author Events

Nov
2
Tuesday
In Person
In conversation with Jean Chen Ho

Skylight Books
1818 N Vermont Ave,
Los Angeles, CA

Nov
4
Thursday
7:00 pm EST
In Person
In conversation with Crystal Hana Kim

Books Are Magic
225 Smith Street
Brooklyn NY

Nov
8
Monday
8:00 pm EST
In Person
Franklin Park Reading Series

Franklin Park Beer Garden
618 St Johns Pl & 766 Franklin Ave
Brooklyn, NY

Nov
9
Tuesday
7:00 pm EST
In Person

Politics & Prose, Union Market
1270 5th Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

Nov
11
Thursday
In Person

Magers & Quinn Booksellers
3038 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN

Nov
13
Saturday
1:00 pm EST
Online
In conversation with Yanyi, T Kira Madden, & Pik-Shuen Fung

Asian American Writers Workshop

Nov
15
Monday
In Person
In conversation with K-Ming Chang

Green Apple Books and Music
506 Clement Street at 6th Avenue
San Francisco, CA

Nov
18
Thursday
7:00 pm PST
Online
In conversation with Jane Wong

Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE, #A101
Lake Forest Park WA 98155

Praise

  • “A lovely coming-of-age story that will resonate with anyone who’s felt separate, or questioned where they belong.”

    The Washington Post

  • “Impressive. . . . expect subtle surprises as Willa’s relationships evolve in a satisfying accumulation of carefully drawn small moments that build toward her understanding, even acceptance, of both an imperfect world and herself.”

    Kirkus, Starred Review

  • “A poignant, impressive debut that should herald the rise of a literary force to be reckoned with.”

    —Shondaland

  • “Wu’s compassionate debut traces one woman’s search for belonging. . . . Wu brilliantly lays out the complicated dynamics of love, belonging, and care that exist within all relationships.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A subtle, wise debut. . . . Win Me Something is a nuanced story of longing, of the paired desires to belong and to strike one’s own path. Willa is a quiet heroine, but unforgettable.”

    —Shelf Awareness

  • “A wistful novel about how much effort it can take to find and settle into your place in the world.”

    Foreword Reviews

  • “A story about growing up and finding your place in the world—or creating one of your own.”

    Good Housekeeping

  • “I’ve never read a novel quite like Win Me Something, which is to say that I’ve never seen the nuances of navigating a biracial identity put, so beautifully, in fiction. . . . Readers will recognize themselves in Willa’s loneliness, and they will feel that they are, finally, in good company.”

    —LitHub

  • “Willa’s story—and figuring out her sense of self—truly leaps off the page.”

    —Alma

  • “Impressive, insightful.”

    Booklist

  • “In Win Me Something, Kyle Lucia Wu examines the biracial experience with razor sharp precision, nuance, and profound feeling. Her prose radiates off the page, with every color, character, and scrap of food animating the world of this story, all of it asking who, and what, is of value in America? I love the gentle candor of Wu’s prose, the sneaky devastation. Her debut is a resonant knockout.”

    —T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

  • “With Win Me Something, Kyle Lucia Wu tenderly and masterfully reveals the fury, hope, and longing that come with trying to be seen in a world that never looks for you.”

    —Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk

  • Win Me Something is an observant, contemplative story about the complex reality of growing up with a mixed identity in two starkly different mixed families. Kyle Lucia Wu deftly weaves back and forth between Willa’s teenaged years and her adult life to explore loneliness, uncertainty, and a singular, persistent question—where do I truly belong?” 

    —Crystal Hana Kim, author of If You Leave Me

  • “Kyle Lucia Wu’s Win Me Something is groundbreaking in its exploration of blended families and a biracial Asian American consciousness. In subtle but strikingly observed scenes that depict race, class, and lives of having and not having, she explores the secret want that we all have: to belong to something, somewhere. Here we find Willa, a biracial Chinese American narrator seeking to understand where she belongs in the family of things. Here is a prose writer who relishes in the poetry of language. Under Wu’s deft hand, each sentence unfolds like a miracle.” 

    —Cathy Linh Che, author of Split

  • “Taut, engrossing, and masterfully observed, Win Me Something announces a powerful and luminescent new literary voice in Kyle Lucia Wu. 

    —Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

  • “Like a latter-day Willa Cather, after whom her protagonist is named, Kyle Lucia Wu has written a beautiful novel about a fiercely American young woman whose Americanness is constantly questioned by those around her. This is a sad, funny, and tender coming-of-age story about what family and belonging means for someone who is realizing that she is constantly watched but not truly seen.”

    —David Burr Gerrard, author of The Epiphany Machine