Tuesday, May 21, 2024 - 6:30pm
Brazos Bookstore --
2421 Bissonnet Street
HOUSTON, TX 77005-1451


Brazos Bookstore welcomes Rachel Khong in-store on Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Rachel will be in conversation with Tayyba Maya Kanwal.

A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK • From the award-winning author of Goodbye, Vitamin: How far would you go to shape your own destiny? An exhilarating novel of American identity that spans three generations in one family and asks: What makes us who we are? And how inevitable are our futures?

Real Americans begins on the precipice of Y2K in New York City, when twenty-two-year-old Lily Chen, an unpaid intern at a slick media company, meets Matthew. Matthew is everything Lily is not: easygoing and effortlessly attractive, a native East Coaster, and, most notably, heir to a vast pharmaceutical empire. Lily couldn't be more different: flat-broke, raised in Tampa, the only child of scientists who fled Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Despite all this, Lily and Matthew fall in love.

In 2021, fifteen-year-old Nick Chen has never felt like he belonged on the isolated Washington island where he lives with his single mother, Lily. He can't shake the sense she's hiding something. When Nick sets out to find his biological father, the journey threatens to raise more questions than it provides answers.

In immersive, moving prose, Rachel Khong weaves a profound tale of class and striving, race and visibility, and family and inheritance—a story of trust, forgiveness, and finally coming home.

Exuberant and explosive, Real Americans is a social novel par excellence that asks: Are we destined, or made? And if we are made, who gets to do the making? Can our genetic past be overcome?

RACHEL KHONG is the author of Goodbye, Vitamin, winner of the California Book Award for First Fiction, and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR; O, The Oprah Magazine; Vogue; and Esquire. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Cut, The Guardian, The Paris Review, and Tin House. In 2018, she founded The Ruby, a work and event space for women and nonbinary writers and artists in San Francisco’s Mission District. She lives in California.

Tayyba Maya Kanwal is a Pakistani-American writer from Houston, TX and assistant fiction editor at Conjunctions. Her work appears in Witness Magazine, Meridian, Quarterly West, and other journals, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her short story collection, "Talking with Boys,"  was shortlisted for the C&R Press 2023 Fiction Award and her work has been anthologized by Eastover Press and The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review. She is a winner of the 2022 Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Fiction and Witness Magazine 2022 Literary Awards runner-up. She holds an MFA from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program where she was an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellow, and an MS in Mathematics from the University of Oregon. Tayyba teaches at the University of Houston and the Texas Medical Center. 

Real Americans: A novel By Rachel Khong Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593537251
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - April 30th, 2024