Days of Distraction

Days of Distraction

A Novel

Book - 2020
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"Startlingly original and deeply moving.... Chang here establishes herself as one of the most important of the new generation of American writers." -- George Saunders

A Recommended Book From

Buzzfeed * TIME * USA Today * NPR * Vanity Fair * The Washington Post * New York Magazine * O, the Oprah Magazine * Parade * Wired * Electric Literature * The Millions * San Antonio Express-News * Domino * Kirkus

A wry, tender portrait of a young woman--finally free to decide her own path, but unsure if she knows herself well enough to choose wisely--from a captivating new literary voice

The plan is to leave. As for how, when, to where, and even why--she doesn't know yet. So begins a journey for the twenty-four-year-old narrator of Days of Distraction. As a staff writer at a prestigious tech publication, she reports on the achievements of smug Silicon Valley billionaires and start-up bros while her own request for a raise gets bumped from manager to manager. And when her longtime boyfriend, J, decides to move to a quiet upstate New York town for grad school, she sees an excuse to cut and run.

Moving is supposed to be a grand gesture of her commitment to J and a way to reshape her sense of self. But in the process, she finds herself facing misgivings about her role in an interracial relationship. Captivated by the stories of her ancestors and other Asian Americans in history, she must confront a question at the core of her identity: What does it mean to exist in a society that does not notice or understand you?

Equal parts tender and humorous, and told in spare but powerful prose, Days of Distraction is an offbeat coming-of-adulthood tale, a touching family story, and a razor-sharp appraisal of our times.

Publisher: New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2020]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062951809
Branch Call Number: CHANG A
Characteristics: 312 pages ; 22 cm


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Dec 26, 2020

This book had so many fantastic recommendations; after slogging through I had to doublecheck to see if I'd accidentally picked up the wrong title?! Nope, this banal, puerile, self-absorbed and shallow book simply wasn't appealing.
Although, if you are deeply intersectional, love projecting your subtle racist mindset onto others and react to every negative slight with the snowflake's lament: they must be racist--sexist--misogynistic--supremacist ----- or perhaps they --- or you --- are an uncivilized jerk!? To even the semi-literate the author exhibits some serious racist thinking patterns at points in this book. You recognize them when you read them.
Some people aren't suitable to live in a democracy or in an unregimented society --- although that is quickly changing in our corrupt country today where every single "media" outlet in Seattle refuses to call out the criminals and psychos among us if they claim "intersectionality"! It's like that silly woefully ignorant and uneducated Latina on NPR who knows NOTHING about Spanish history --- or that self-described "activist" who brought a recall motion against Mayor/Comrade Durkan, and goes on radio interviews, proclaiming her psychopathology for all the world to see --- if even rudimentary civilized behavior is alien to one, no Maoist thought or behavior will improve things. (And to any who ponder whether they should date or socialize outside their race ---- please refrain from inflicting yourself on others.)

Jun 29, 2020

The narrator is a young woman in her twenties who works at an online tech magazine who has repeatedly asked for a raise and been put off. She is dissatisfied and knows that she wants to leave, but she isn't sure what she wants to do instead. Meanwhile her live-in boyfriend is applying to PhD programs, which may give her out the out that she desires, but then what? Also, he's white and she's the daughter of Chinese immigrants, which has its own tensions and challenges.

This is a good story of a woman at loose ends, the challenges she encounters being Asian and dating outside her race, and just trying to figure things out. I also thought it was a good examination of corporate pay structures and how racism and sexism can change how you interact with the world.


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