A Career in Books: A Novel about Friends, Money, and the Occasional Duck Bun (Hardcover)
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A Publishers Weekly Best Books 2022: Comics pick
A Career in Books is a graphic novel for everyone who's wanted to "work with books" and had NO idea what it entailed. It's for those who were taken aback by that first paycheck. It's for those who wanted a literary career even in the face of systemic racism, who dealt with the unique challenges of coming from an immigrant family, and whose group chat is their lifeline.
Shirin, Nina, and Silvia have just gotten their first jobs in publishing, at a University Press, a traditional publisher, and a trust-fund kid's "indie" publisher, respectively. And it's . . . great? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ They know they're paying their dues and the challenges they meet (Shirin's boss just assumes she knows Cantonese, Nina cannot get promoted by sheer force of will, and Silvia has to deal with daily microaggressions) are just part of “a career in books.” When they meet their elderly neighbor, Veronica Vo, and discover she's a Booker Prize winner dubbed the “Tampax Tolstoy” by the press, each woman finds a thread of inspiration from Veronica’s life to carry on her own path. And the result is full of twists and revelations that surprise not only the reader but the women themselves.
Charming, wry, and with fantastic black-and-white illustrations, A Career in Books is a modern ode to Rona Jaffe’s The Best of Everything, and perfect for fans of Good Talk, Younger, and The Bold Type, as readers chart the paths of three Asian-American women trying to break through the world of books with hilarious, incisive, and heartbreaking results.
About the Author
Kate Gavino is the author and illustrator of Last Night’s Reading (Penguin, 2015) and the graphic novel Sanpaku (Archaia/BOOM! Studios, 2018). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Believer, Longreads, Oprah.com, and more. She was both the greatest and the worst editorial assistant.
"Kate Gavino has created a welcome jolt of a book—a hilarious, addictive read that just happens to reclaim Asian American history while illuminating our present. And it’s fun to read. Whew, we needed this one."
—Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk
"A well-told story about friendship and the importance of fighting for your space and for what you want, A Career In Books may especially appeal to those who have led that assistant life, who always read the acknowledgments, and who don’t need to google Binky Urban." —AV Club
“While Gavino empathically showcases independent APA women in search of fulfillment, she also lovingly celebrates Asian American publishing with clever inclusions...Presented in delightful four-part, black-and-white panels, Gavino’s memorable characters manage the quotidian, dissect challenges, navigate change, and celebrate triumphs—together.” —Booklist
"With quill-sharp narration and spot-on details, this delightful graphic novel from Gavino (Last Night’s Reading) depicts New York City publishing through the eyes of three Asian American NYU grads who share an apartment... Specificity is the fire that fuels this witty social satire, in which fairness doesn’t always triumph, but friendship does."
—Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)
"Heartwarming and hilarious." —Bookriot
“The writing is sharp and funny, the trials and tribulations real and rewarding.” —NY Journal of Books
"Kate Gavino's A Career in Books is a funny, deeply engaging nostalgia trip back to the days when you were broke on an entry-level salary, living in the big city with roommates, and anxious about whether your career would work out. Her eye for detail is astounding, from the late 2000s pop culture references (remember the Marie Antoinette soundtrack?) to the inner workings of female friendship (calling each other inside joke nicknames like "beb"). With witty dialogue and delightful illustration, A Career in Books is charming, edgy, and a joy to read." —Malaka Gharib, author of I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir
"A Career In Books is one of those books I would have loved to work on as an editorial assistant, and we all know those books are few and far between. It's a charming ode to idealism and realism, and what happens when the two inevitably intersect."
—Maris Kreizman, author of Slaughterhouse 90210
"...a vividly rendered satirical graphic novel about three Asian American young women determined to work in book publishing." —Publishers Weekly, Comics World