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The Partner Track: A Novel Hardcover – September 17, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (September 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250019575
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250019578
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #719,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ingrid Yung is on the cusp of making partner at the elite Manhattan law firm Valentine & Hunt. She knows that some of the reasons she’s an attractive candidate stem from her being a two-fer, a woman and a minority, but she hopes that her impeccable work is what will earn her the promotion. When she’s simultaneously assigned to a huge case and asked to spearhead the firm’s new diversity initiative, however, Ingrid’s ­priorities begin to shift from playing the corporate game to exposing the injustices of the old-boy network, even though it may cost her both her partnership and her relationship with a fellow associate. Debut novelist Wan, an associate general counsel at Time Inc. shows that she has writing chops in addition to legal acumen. In spite of creating a lackluster romance and pat epilogue, Wan succeeds in exploring and fictionalizing the timely topics of sexism and racism in workplace politics in a fluent, thought-provoking, and compelling tale. --Aleksandra Walker

Review

"Smart, incisive, and fast-paced, THE PARTNER TRACK is a sparklingly readable look at the inner workings of a Wall Street law firm -- from the vantage point of a brainy, beautiful and self-doubting Asian-American associate. Wan has the remarkable ability to make you feel as if "you are there" -- inside the law firm, inside protagonist Ingrid Yung's head. I did not want to put this book down."
--Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

“Behind Helen Wan’s wit and sparkling prose is a poignant and at times, painfully honest tale of loyalty, ambition and sacrifice.  Funny, fragile, sometimes bold, often unsure, Ingrid Yung is one of those unforgettable heroines that you actually miss, like a dear friend, when the story’s over.”
--Ann Leary, New York Times bestselling author of The Good House

“What a terrific debut novel.  Ingrid Yung is a fresh, funny, and fearless heroine.  Her razor-sharp wit and keen observations of gender, race and class politics in corporate America make THE PARTNER TRACK an entertaining, engrossing and ultimately deeply compelling read.”
–Cristina Alger, author of The Darlings

"A wholly engrossing behind-the-scenes look at real life behind the pomp, power and prestige of a high-powered law firm that wants to still play by a 1950s rule book." --Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus, co-authors of Citizen Girl and The Nanny Diaries

“The Partner Track is a marvelous story about female ambition and power, about betrayal, identity, and the conflict between self-interest and desire. In short: all the big, human stuff. Read it.” –Alison Clement, author of Twenty Questions

“Hell hath no fury like Helen Wan's savvy heroine in this terrific debut.  We all know women like Ingrid Yung:  the well-educated over-achiever who does everything right to ensure a long, productive journey on a lucrative career path.  But what happens when someone blows up the path?  The Partner Track is a delicious, satisfying read for anyone who has fantasized about getting the better of the boss, the ex-lover, the corporate powers that be--or all three.  Ingrid Yung has done it for all of us.” –Kristin van Ogtrop, author of Just Let Me Lie Down and editor of Real Simple

"From lawyer-turned-author Helen Wan comes an illuminating look at the social and racial politics at a prestigious New York law firm." --Audrey Magazine

“A master storyteller...Wan paints a realistic and immersing portrait of the elite world of corporate law.  She had me rooting for Ingrid’s success and happiness from the first chapter.” 
--Real Simple

"Engaging and suspenseful . . . She dissects the tokens of status in this world in a manner that’s reminiscent of Tom Wolfe.” –Wall Street Journal

“Wan succeeds in exploring and fictionalizing the timely topics of sexism and racism in workplace politics in a fluent, thought-provoking, and compelling tale.” --Booklist

“Wan has written a sensitive story of discrimination faced in ‘old boy’ law firms in particular but also in the world in general . . . intriguing and entertaining. This reviewer is looking to Wan’s next novel.”
Library Journal


"THE PARTNER TRACK romances us with power, all the while revealing the betrayal, bigotry and illusion congealed inside of it." –Amherst Magazine

Customer Reviews

I thought the plot line of the book was very well written.
Kimberly
Helen Wan does such a great job at getting the reader really emotionally invested in Ingrid's success, that one feels like they're right there with Ingrid.
victoria
Great book discussing race and gender issues that prevail in corporate America.
New Yorker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn on October 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I wanted to linger over The Partner Track but I couldn't put it down! This novel was a fun read, but make no mistake, Helen Wan's hard look at diversity in corporate America will make you stop to really think about your own role in the modern workplace. I appreciated the thoughtfulness to Helen's writing. There was something very honest about the story as it unfolded and as it travels to a very unexpected place. Diversity is a tricky topic to tackle. The subtle way that Helen takes on that challenge through Ingrid's story I think will really resonate with people and in many cases will be eye opening.
Read this novel if you want a good read but also want to challenge yourself to think about the world as you see it and how that same world may look very different through someone else's eyes.
PS - I'm not currently in a book club but this would make a great book club read. Lots to discuss!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Guantanabela on September 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading Helen Wan's, The Partner Track. I enjoy books that are totally engaging (meaning take me away from my daily life), but also ring true. The book presents fully-developed characters, and I found myself thinking about them days after I had finished reading. I looked forward to reading this book on my commutes and wish I hadn't read it so quickly. If you want to spend a few days in the hands of a master storyteller, this book is for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By hmc on October 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I planned to skim the Partner Track since the author's presenting a book discussion at my law school. Instead, I ended up finishing the book at four in the morning! Haven't read such a page turner in a while. The protagonist jumps right off the page with her spunky attitude and intelligence. Since I'm a Chinese-American I really identified with her, but it'd be a good read for anyone interested in a career in corporate world. It's chalk full of insight into corporate culture and what it takes to remain authentic while climbing the corporate latter.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By mendacityTN on September 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a great novel for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. The novel's plot draws you in and you can't help but turn the page to find out what happens next! I have been recommending it to lots of friends as an entertaining, quick-paced read. It's guaranteed to be a book you tear right through! I only wish I had more than one copy so I could share it with more of the people who've expressed an interest in reading it-- guess they'll just have to buy it on Amazon instead!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura Clark on December 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. A lot. Ingrid Yung is a Senior Associate Attorney who is up for a partnership at the Manhattan Corporate Law firm she works for. She works hard and feels she has earned a partnership but, like everyone else, she has to wait for the announcement comes down and hopes nothing happens to mess things up for her.

Many people think she's a shoo-in because she has a few things going for her. For one thing she's a female. For another, she's Asian. The firm has never appointed a minority female as a partner in Mergers & Acquisitions, where Ingrid works and the pressure is really on the partners to have diversity. With Ingrid they get a "two-fer".

What I like about Ingrid is she's every person who's fighting for position in the workforce. She's very likeable and very relatable, even if you're not up for a partnership in a law firm. :) Plus, she doesn't want to be appointed based on giving the firm an appearance of diversity - she wants it based on merit, which she's earned. She doesn't ever want that questioned either.

Ingrid is a good person and she cares about others and the author does a wonderful job of conveying that. The book was very well written - very moving. You get a close up look at someone's vulnerability at working towards something but not knowing if you'll get the result you want - or for the reason you want it. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert B. Lamm on January 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a must read for anyone who has ever worked for or with a big law firm - especially a New York-based big law firm. There are so many accurate vignettes of the people and buzz words that float around such firms, and I found myself smiling - or smirking - many times while reading the book. So the book is definitely a fun read and a quick one.

However, there are a number of very important messages in this book that make it a cut above "mere" satire. The discrimination or, at a minimum, the condescension, that exists towards women and minorities at many law firms and other businesses, the expectation that people will have no personal life (and should not need one) and should sacrifice their all for a business that couldn't care less about them, and so on. It reminded me of the time when I confided to a very well known M&A practitioner in New York that I was scheduled to have major surgery. He told me that he'd had the same surgery and he got through it fine; in fact, he regaled me with a story about how he conducted a client board meeting from his bed in the recovery room. He was so proud, and all I could think of was "does he think this impresses me?"

Read it and enjoy - and weep a bit too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Scott Jones on November 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In her debut novel, Wan introduces readers to Ingrid Yung, a likable heroine, flawed yet gutsy, who has to learn to trust her worth from the inside out. And her journey, told in Wan’s smooth prose–not too showy, not too spare–is an intriguing one many women (especially) will voyeuristically enjoy.

One of my favorite, though minor, characters is Ingrid’s mom, a Chinese immigrant who reminded me of nothing so much as a Jewish mother. Can I say that? I’m sure it’s terribly un-PC, but Ingrid-ah’s mom, who signs off every phone message with “Love, Mom,” is too sweet to not mention.

I liked this novel, with all its twists and turns–and one particularly satisfying comeuppance–but there is one thing I still don’t get: its marketing tagline, which reads “…a young attorney must choose between the prestige of partnership and the American Dream that she–and her immigrant parents–have come so close to achieving.” In my opinion, Ingrid’s dilemma doesn’t boil down to a choice between these two objectives because partnership is her American Dream. Rather, it comes down to choosing between these two things and her integrity, her dignity, her sense of worth–her very sense of self.

This is a book about many things: corporate glass ceiling for women and minorities; cultural and gender diversity in the workplace; corporate best practices and empowerment for underrepresented groups. It’s also about the grass-is-greener syndrome. As I read, I realized my own lifestyle most aligns with Ingrid’s best friend, who a few years earlier had left her high-powered job to become a wife and stay-at-home, suburban mom. (Not that my job was high-powered, but it was corporate.) Ingrid finds herself envying her friend’s choices and lifestyle–an envy her friend (of course) reciprocates.
Read more ›
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The Partner Track: A Novel
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Price: $25.99 $18.92
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