The Wangs vs. the World

by Jade Chang

Now available in paperback: a "jam-packed, high energy debut”*—one of the most hailed of 2016—that follows one immigrant family’s spectacular fall from riches to rags 


*Kirkus Reviews

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9781328745538
  • ISBN-10: 1328745538
  • Pages: 384
  • Publication Date: 06/06/2017
  • Carton Quantity: 24

Also available in:

About the Book
About the Author
  • About the Book
    A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice 

    An October 2016 Indie Next Pick 

    A PopSugar Best Book for Fall 

    A BuzzFeed Incredible Book for Fall 

    A Nylon Amazing Book for Fall 

    A Bustle Book for Your Fall TBR List 

    A Millions Most Anticipated Book 

    A Frisky Book to Read for Fall 


    Charles Wang, a brash, lovable businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, has just lost everything in the financial crisis. So he rounds up two of his children from schools that he can no longer afford and packs them into the only car that wasn’t repossessed. Together with their wealth-addicted stepmother, Barbra, they head on a cross-country journey from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the Upstate New York retreat of the eldest Wang daughter, Saina. The trip brings them together in a way money never could. 

    “Highly entertaining” (BuzzFeed), this “fresh Little Miss Sunshine” (Vanity Fair)is a “compassionate and bright-eyed novel” (New York Times Book Review), an epic family saga, and a new look at what it means to belong in America. “When the Wangs take the world, we all benefit” (USA Today).
  • About the Author
  • Excerpts
  • Reviews
    New York Times Editors’ Choice 

    PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction Finalist 

    Semifinalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award 

    Selected as a Best Book of 2016 by: 

    NPR • BuzzFeed • PopSugar • Refinery29 • Electric Literature • Self Elle 


    “A Chinese-American family tumbles from riches to rags in Chang’s jam-packed, high-energy debut . . . Switching among the points of view of all the Wangs and several supporting players, racing back and forth in time and across the country and the world, dropping into Chinese, stuffing in stand-up routines and savvy details on finance, journalism, the beauty industry, and the art world, this debut novelist holds nothing back. Head-spinning fun.” —Kirkus Reviews 


    “Charming . . . .Fans of sweeping family sagas will be rewarded.” —Library Journal 


    “Fresh, energetic, and completely hilarious, The Wangs vs. the World is my favorite debut of the year.” —Jami Attenberg, author of Saint Mazie and The Middlesteins 


    “Funny, brash, honest, full of wit and heart and smarts. This is a novel I wish I could write, have been dying to read, and hope everyone else reads, too.” —Charles Yu, author of Sorry Please Thank You and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe 


    “Jade Chang’s debut novel is a heartbreaking, hilarious, and honest American epic: a road trip that’s an ultimate escape from our parents’ American dream, toward an unknown destination that’s both more vulnerable and more hopeful.” —J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest 


    “A moneyed Chinese-immigrant clan loses it all, then takes a healing, uproarious road trip across the United States.” —Entertainment Weekly 


    “In Jade Chang’s highly entertaining debut novel, The Wangs vs. the World, Taiwanese-born American businessman Charles Wang loses his fortune to the 2008 recession and must unite his children to start fresh in China. Along with their stepmother, Barbra, the Wangs set off on a road trip across the country, all the way struggling to deal with their new financial situation—and each other. A meditation on what it means to be an immigrant in America, The Wangs vs. the World shows the often surprising ways hardship can bring a dysfunctional family closer together.” —BuzzFeed 


    “One of the best debut novels of 2016, this warmhearted, wide-ranging novel tells the wholly modern story of the Wang family: Father Charles has had his fortune decimated by the financial crisis, so he wants to corral his family, return to China, and start all over. But first, everyone—Charles, his wife, and their three children—has to sort out the tangles of their lives.” — 


    “Chang is a former journalist, but her debut novel has already been praised by the wonderful Jami Attenberg, so you know it’s going to be good. The book deals with the trials and triumphs of a Chinese-American immigrant family who made it big and then lost it all. And then decided to take a road trip. It’s poignant, hilarious, and a truly noteworthy debut.” — 


    “The Wangs had it all: a cosmetics empire and a huge fortune, but the financial crisis ruined all that. Now Charles Wang is taking his family on a road trip across America so that he can get his children safely stowed away and start his life anew in China. The Wangs vs. the World is a funny and touching novel about what it means to belong in America.” —PopSugar 


    “A wealthy Chinese immigrant family finds their fortunes dashed and their future in question—with surprisingly hilarious results—in this rollicking debut novel.” BookPage 


    “A funny, feeling novel about an immigrant family (and its patriarch) who must choose between old and new, a clean slate and solidarity.” —Brooklyn 


    “This debut novel is so funny and so wise and so sad about the collapse of the American Dream from the vantage point of a wealthy Chinese-American family, who expected and got everything they wanted—until they didn’t. Plus it’s a hell of a road trip novel, as the Wangs, shellshocked by bankruptcy, have to find their way back to some inner understanding of one another. I adored this book and look forward to reading it again and to Chang’s next fiction adventures.” —Sarah Weinman, TheCrimeLady 


    The Wangs vs. the World is one of the most thrilling, skilfully wrought novels I’ve read in ages . . . .The Wangs were so real to me that I keep expecting them to turn up at my door. I’ll be ready with my bags if they do.” —Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Animals