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Fast Facts: Things to know about Kevin Kwan’s glamorous new book Sex and Vanity

Fast Facts: Things to know about Kevin Kwan’s glamorous new book Sex and Vanity

After working on the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy for 8 years, Kevin Kwan is thrilled to have released his latest book Sex and Vanity. While there is no denying the groundbreaking success of Crazy Rich Asians—both the bestselling trilogy and blockbuster movie adaptation—Kwan is certain that it was time to move on and do something new.

Sex and Vanity is a book I have dreamt of writing for at least 10 years and it’s all come together now in a very nice way. After that crazy tidal wave that was Crazy Rich Asians, I finally knew how to tell a story I wanted to tell,” Kwan said in an interview with Tatler

Fall in love with the breathtaking sceneries and lavish parties that Sex and Vanity has to offer: Kwan’s romantic comedy novel that still revolves around highlighting the incredibly extravagant lifestyle of the rich, while touching the themes of self-discovery, racism, and love.

Sex and Vanity is inspired by Kevin Kwan’s favorite book.

Sex and Vanity is an homage and retelling of A Room with a View published in 1908, which is Kwan’s  favorite book (and movie) of all time. He  has always dreamt of making a story inspired by E.M. Forster’s most celebrated work, reliving A Room with a View’s Lucy Honeychurch and creating a whole new story that resonates not only with the present “meet-cute” love stories but more importantly, contemporary problems.

“It was my way of really exploring so many other issues. And my Lucie is, of course, biracial. She’s half Chinese and half very old establishment WASP. And I wanted to be able to tell that story of the fusion of that, and the problems and struggles it creates in her life as she tries to really find her own identity,” shared Kwan with NPR.

With the comedic and outrageous twists that he brings unto his novels, Kwan is also determined to create his own version of Lucy (which becomes Lucie Churchill in the novel) that represents so much of what’s happening in the world today, especially in the US: familial and societal cultures, social classes and status symbols, and racial discrimintation in multicultural families.

A peek inside the world of “billenials” and “mocialites”.

Inside the world of Sex and Vanity, Kwan gives a clear picture of the “billenials” (billionaire millennials) and “mocialites” (male socialites). While Crazy Rich Asians was focused on young professionals, Rachel and Nick, Sex and Vanity lets readers take a peek at the exquisite lives of teenagers-turned-into-adults and talks a little bit about millennials’ obssession with social media.

(Spoiler alert: each of the characters even has an introduction paired with details on his or her educational background).

But beneath the expensive yachts and designer coutures, Kwan is convinced that Gen Z’s as a whole are actually putting less of an emphasis on luxury compared to the older generations.

In an interview with Lifestyle Asia, Kwan mentioned, “I think even in Sex and Vanity, you see that my heroine Lucie isn’t fashion obsessed or even really interested in status symbols. She happens to have nice things but they do not define her, and in fact they have to represent her authentically. She loves shopping at boutiques of artisan designers in New York rather than global brands.”

It’s set on Kwan’s favorite islands in the world.

As someone who loves to travel, Kwan definitely would want to take his readers on imaginary trips to places that have captured his heart, “I wanted to tell a fun romantic story set on two of my favorite islands in the world: Capri and Manhattan.

Kwan also shared that going to Capri every summer made it easier for him to write the book when he was finally ready to do it. Moreover, he also shared that the setting of the wedding is as, or even more beautiful, in real life as how he describes it in the book. Truly, it’s the perfect place to fall in love!

(Trivia: Kwan only finished writing the book in four months, can you believe it?)

Sex and Vanity is the first book in a trilogy.

Some reports have stated that Sex and Vanity is going to be a standalone novel, and well, they aren’t exactly wrong. While it’s clear that the story of Lucie is complete after Sex and Vanity, Kwan revealed that there is an exciting twist to this series.

Sex and Vanity is the first in a new trilogy that I’m starting but it’s not like Star Wars, where the story continues with these characters. What’s going to tie all these three books together is that each is inspired by a great city. Sex and Vanity is my love letter to New York, and the next book will be my love letter to London and the final book will be my love letter to Paris,” Kwan mentioned to The Hollywood Reporter.

A Sex and Vanity film adaptation is happening.

When Kwan released the novel on June 30, 2020, just a few days later—July 9th, to be exact—an announcement broke: Sex and Vanity is getting a film adaptation. According to Vanity Movie, Sony Pictures and SK Global have optioned the films rights to Sex and Vanity. Just like in Crazy Rich Asians, Kwan will serve as a producer for the adaptation.

From SK Global’s John Penotti: “Seven years ago, Kevin entrusted us (and our producing partners) with his groundbreaking best-seller Crazy Rich Asians, and ever since, working with him has been a creative dream. With Sex and Vanity, he’s once again created a work of magic, crafting a riveting story about love and identity.”

The adaptation is currently in the works and no further details are available at the moment.

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

You may also grab a copy of Sex and Vanity and the Crazy Rich Asian trilogy on Fully Booked Online or any Fully Booked branches nationwide.

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