From Publishers Weekly
What's a Yale-educated, "descended from the last Korean royal dynasty" girl who travels in moneyed circles and believes she's not fit for employment do when she's 55-grand in debt and her once-rich family is tapped out? In this satirical debut, Hong answers that question by pairing would-be princess Jude Lee with Madame Tartakov, a shady matron who agrees to pay off Jude's debt if Jude works for her as a courtesan in New York for two years. Hong captures the lure crassly outspoken Jude feels towards the good life when she dines with client Yvengy, an "irresistible" classical violinist who plies her with store credit cards. But Jude's society prospects are hampered when, while at a booze-drenched party, she meets the fortuitously named Joshua Spinoza, a philosophy Ph.D. candidate whose wit and intelligence heighten his allure. As Jude and Joshua court one another, Madame Tartakov fades deep into the background and the story becomes a less titillating one of tumultuous young love and the unearthing of long-buried family secrets. (Aug.)
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"An impressively deft debut...The writing is immaculate...Hong has crafted a delightfully erudite and justifiably literary novel...It is as smart and clever as it is deliciously entertaining."
-- Christine Thomas, Chicago Tribune
"Rich, insightful, and wildly entertaining. A wonderfully assured debut."
-- Helen Walsh, author of Brass
"You'll be laughing from cover to cover."
-- Halley Bondy, New York Daily News
"A high-spirited, witty and entertaining tale with an unusually audacious heroine and a dazzlingly global frame of reference."
-- Margaret Drabble, author of The Seven Sisters
and The Sea Lady
"Not for nothing does Hong begin the book with a quote from Thackeray; this is Vanity Fair's
-- Kirkus Reviews
"We wouldn't want to miss Jude's tantrums...witty disdain leads the way."
-- Elinor Lipman, The Washington Post Book World
"Clever, smart, and oh so terribly funny, Kept
is perfect for the beach tote or for sneaking into your graduate seminar. This is a volume to treasure."
-- Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan
and The Russian Debutante's Handbook