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Fast facts: 5 crazy things about Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan

Fast facts: 5 crazy things about Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan

While you’ve heard, watched, and most probably read his work, it’s now time to get to know the author behind the New York Times bestselling trilogy Crazy Rich Asians.

From his family background to what he's currently listening to, here are some Fast Facts about Kevin Kwan.

1. Kevin Kwan came from a distinguished family.

He came from a prominent family in Singapore. Kwan’s grandmother was the daughter of one of the founders of Oversea Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), Singapore’s oldest bank. 

On the other hand, his grandfather was Singapore’s first Western-trained ophthalmologist and was even knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his philanthropic efforts for providing free healthcare for the poor.

2. Crazy Rich Asians felt real because they were inspired by true-to-life events.

Because of his family background, Kwan witnessed first-hand what ‘crazy rich’ actually meant. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Kwan shared that Crazy Rich Asians is, in many ways, inspired by real events from his childhood. 

“So many aspects of and stories in the book I actually had to tone down! The reality is simply unbelievable… Sometimes I had to actually take details out, because my editor was like, ‘No one will believe this.’ And I would say, ‘But this really happened,’ and she’d reply, ‘It doesn’t matter. You’re going to lose readers because it’s going to seem so unreal that people would spend this much money, or do something this excessive.’ So those parts were changed,” Kwan said.

4. Before being a bestselling author, he also had an artistic job.

He studied at the University of Houston and majored in media studies and creative writing, then went to Parsons School of Design to get a second degree in photography and visual communications.

Before his life as an author, Kwan worked as a creative consultant at his own consulting firm. During this time, he was able to work with prestigious clients such as The New York Times, TED, and the Museum of Modern Art. He was also a consultant for many celebrities, including Elizabeth Taylor.

5. He is a fan of Harry Styles.

While Kwan admitted that he wasn’t a fan of One Direction, he confessed that he’s currently loving Harry Styles’ latest album, Fine Line. 

“I find his solo work to be fun, catchy, and at times profound. He reminds me of a young David Bowie in the way that he isn’t afraid to experiment and shape-shift into different sounds and guises,” he shared with Penguin Random House UK.

5. The idea of which got translated into a chapter in Crazy Rich Asians came from a poem called Singapore Bible Study.

When he was studying creative writing, he wrote a poem called Singapore Bible Study. “That was the genesis of chapter three in the first book when Eleanor [Nick's mother] goes to bible study with her friends and all they do is look at jewelry and gossip. And that was essentially what the poem was about,” said Kwan in an interview with Click the City when he visited Manila for his book signing event.

Even back in 1992, Kwan was certain that he wanted to write about the crazy world he had temporary exposure to; it was always his idea to write the Crazy Rich Asians.

6. He was once an intern at Interview Magazine.

When Kwan visited New York, he instantly fell in love and vowed to move to the city. At 21, while enrolled at Parsons School of Art, he began interning at Interview Magazine.

“I was the messenger boy. I would buy gifts for the editors, I would fold press kits. I spent the whole summer helping to organize the party for a Jean Michel Basquait documentary premiere,” Kwan shared with Tatler.

After the wildly successful book-turned-into-blockbuster-film Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan is back with another title featuring his priceless humor and quirky antics. Sex and Vanity plays around extravagant fashion, the breathtaking sceneries of Capri, and the New York social scene--a modern love story and daring homage to A Room with a View with brilliantly funny comedy and manners set between two cultures.

Learn more about Kevin Kwan and his latest book Sex and Vanity on Fully Booked Chats: Kevin Kwan happening on September 10, 6pm via the Fully Booked Facebook Page.

Sex and Vanity is now available on Fully Booked Online and all Fully Booked branches nationwide. 

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