"Lyrical, mesmerizing, and otherworldly. . . stunning proof that Nghi Vo is one of the most original writers we have today. A beautiful, brutal, monstrous Hollywood fantasy."--Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Immortality is just a casting call away.
Locus Award Finalist
Ignyte Award Finalist
An Amazon Best Book of 2022
One of NPR's Best Books of 2022
Vulture's #1 Fantasy Novel of 2022
Indie Next List Reading Group Book of 2023 Best of Year Selections at Apple Books B&N Booksellers LibraryReads TIME Magazine Oprah Daily The Philadelphia Inquirer Publishers Weekly Buzzfeed Chicago Review of Books LitHub Book Riot Paste Magazine Geek Girl Authority Bookish The Mary Sue New York Public Library Vulture Locus Recommended Reading List Kobo The Quill to Live L. A. Public Library Audible Amazon NPR An Indie Next and LibraryReads Pick
A Brooklyn Library Prize Finalist It was magic. In every world, it was a kind of magic. "No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers." Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill--but she doesn't care. She'd rather play a monster than a maid. But in Luli's world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes--even if that means becoming the monster herself. Siren Queen offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page.
- ISBN-13: 9781250788832
- ISBN-10: 1250788838
- Publisher: Tordotcom
- Publish Date: May 2022
- Dimensions: 8.58 x 5.74 x 1.06 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds
- Page Count: 288
In Siren Queen, Nghi Vo presents an alternate history of golden age Hollywood that is at times dreamlike, at times nightmarish. When Chinese American movie fan Luli Wei stumbles onto a film set as a child and snags a minor role, her career aspirations are forever altered. She decides to plunge headlong into an industry where she is not accepted or celebrated, and must constantly claw her way through adversity to gain even the smallest achievement. Luli is no stranger to enchantments—her mother weaves intricate household spells from time to time—but her time in Hollywood reveals their darker side. In Vo’s alternate America, movie magic isn’t just makeup, costumes and special effects. Young, vulnerable actors sell their souls, bodies and identities for fame and fortune, and still, the show must go on. Vo’s spellbinding prose captures the allure and discomfort that Hollywood holds for outspoken, witty Luli. She experiences constant prejudice and possible danger as a queer Asian woman, but the film community also provides her with an opportunity to explore her sexuality in relative, if tenuous, safety. Formidable and talented, Luli is adamant that she will be the Asian actress who breaks the mold to play more than a scorned lover or a servant. At first, she sacrifices parts of herself to achieve this goal, but she eventually reaches the limit of what she is willing to give. The more secrets she learns, the more determined she becomes to overturn the status quo and create a safe haven for other marginalized actors. Beyond its intricate world building and incisive cultural commentary, Siren Queen is a moving exploration of romance, loss and complex family dynamics. Readers will be fully invested in Luli’s journey as she comes into her own, defies the industry’s attempts to own her and pursues her happiness.