Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Disorientation
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
15 posts | 13 read | 16 to read
A Taiwanese American woman's coming-of-consciousness ignites eye-opening revelations and chaos on a college campus in this outrageously hilarious and startlingly tender debut novel "Disorientation is a multivalent pleasure, a deeply original debut novel that reinvents the campus novel satire as an Asian American literary studies whodunnit, in which the murder victim might be your idea of yourself--no matter how you identify. I often held my breath until I laughed and I wouldn't dare compare it or Chou to anyone writing now. Wickedly funny and knowing, Chou's dagger wit is sure-eyed, intent on what feels like a decolonization of her protagonist, if not the reader, that just might set her free." --Alexander Chee, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel Twenty-nine-year-old PhD student Ingrid Yang is desperate to finish her dissertation on the late canonical poet Xiao-Wen Chou and never read about "Chinese-y" things again. But after four years of grueling research, she has nothing but anxiety and stomach pain to show for her efforts. When she accidentally stumbles upon a strange and curious note in the Chou archives, she convinces herself it's her ticket out of academic hell. But Ingrid's in much deeper than she thinks. Her clumsy exploits to unravel the note's message lead to an explosive discovery, one that upends her entire life and the lives of those around her. With her trusty friend Eunice Kim by her side and her rival Vivian Vo hot on her tail, together they set off a roller coaster of mishaps and misadventures, from campus protests and OTC drug hallucinations, to book burnings and a movement that stinks of "Yellow Peril" propaganda. In the aftermath, nothing looks quite the same to Ingrid--including her gentle and doting fianc, Stephen Greene. When he embarks on a book tour with the "super kawaii" Japanese author he's translated, doubts and insecurities creep in. At the same time, she finds herself drawn to the cool and aloof Alex Kim (even though she swears he's not her type). As the events Ingrid instigated keep spiraling, she'll have to confront her sticky relationship to white men and white institutions--and, most of all, herself. An uproarious and bighearted satire, alive with sharp edges, immense warmth, and a cast of unforgettable characters, Disorientation is a blistering send-up of white supremacy in academia and a profound reckoning of individual complicity and unspoken rage. In this electrifying debut novel from a provocative new voice, Chou asks who gets to tell our stories--and how the story changes when we finally tell it ourselves.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
rmaclean4
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image
Mehso-so

Satire is hard. This book makes some excellent points but was too long for me. 3 🌟

blurb
Sydneypaige
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image

One of my favorite satires I‘ve read in a few years. I love when you clearly know it‘s satire and you‘re not left wondering if the character just really doesn‘t get it. The PhD setting was interesting as it allowed the book to explore an intersection of systems. I do think the book could be slightly shorter, but overall, a really thought provoking book with a character who can be endearing even if she‘s the satire setting.

review
canbku
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image
Mehso-so

This was hard to read. So much trauma in academia. Really insightful and informative. It was even funny. I just feel like it's too real!

blurb
canbku
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image

And a new audiobook for something fresh ..

52 likes4 stack adds
review
BacklistB__ch
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image
Pickpick

Graduate student burn out, crazy mystery, satire

review
Ruthiella
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image
Mehso-so

Humor & satire are tricky things in novels. I appreciated the author‘s message and I did chuckle a couple of times, but overall it wasn‘t my thing. I found it too earnest generally. My preferred satire draws blood (Think The Trees by Percival Everett /The Sellout by Paul Beatty). Also, the main character was too unbelievably dense often only to propel the plot. I did like the side characters, however & I‘m glad she ended it realistically.

#20in4

squirrelbrain Great review! I have this one on #netgalley, after it was on the #camplitsy longlist. It‘s published in about a month in the UK and I‘m not convinced of my chances of getting to it before then….! 🤷‍♀️ 5mo
vivastory I agree with you on preference of satire 5mo
Ruthiella @squirrelbrain Thanks! I also read it because it was on the #CampLitsy longlist. I think you will like it. I think it‘s a “me” thing. 5mo
See All 6 Comments
Ruthiella @vivastory Do you have any favorites you can suggest? 5mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 5mo
batsy I like that statement about drawing blood! That's my idea of a good satire, too. 5mo
47 likes6 comments
review
BekaReid
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
Pickpick

Absolutely delightful writing! A satire of the Asian-American experience in academia that was nuanced, humorous, and encouraged thought and reflection on race, culture, privilege, power, etc.

review
sarahbarnes
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image
Pickpick

I really enjoyed this satire on race, racism and whiteness that was also a fabulous page turner. I don‘t always love satire, but this was subtle and smart and a definite pick.

Megabooks Agreed! 6mo
28 likes1 comment
quote
BookNAround
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image

“With the box in hand, Ingrid chose a desk by the exit, plucked a random book off the nearest shelf and pretended to read it, not realizing the book was in Braille.”

This book has little gems like this scene as the main character and her friend try to execute a heist which are making me chuckle.

Ruthiella 😂😂😂 6mo
EvieBee Lol! 6mo
47 likes2 comments
blurb
BookNAround
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image

A neighbor asked me to go over and love on his wrinkly kitties so they wouldn‘t get lonely while he‘s out of town. I think he‘s got at least two of us going to keep Ollie and Gus company. I bring my book and read with them.

Catsandbooks So cute! 6mo
EvieBee So cute! 6mo
LeahBergen Aww! ❤️❤️❤️ Look, @Soubhiville ! 6mo
Soubhiville Aw, sweeties. You‘re a good neighbor! I bet they loved the snuggles.💜 (edited) 6mo
78 likes4 comments
review
Hooked_on_books
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image
Pickpick

In this fantastic, sly debut, Ingrid Yang is in the 8th year of her PhD, struggling to get her dissertation written and is so disengaged from it. But then she learns something unknown about her topic, which could be explosive at her college if it comes out. This is a great look at how people are seen in and see the world and what‘s ok for some people but not others. It builds beautifully, and I can‘t believe this was her first book! I loved it.

Megabooks Great review! Sly is an excellent description for this! 7mo
Hooked_on_books @Megabooks Thanks! I loved every word of this. I saw someone saying they thought it was boring. What?!? Not even a little bit! 7mo
54 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Christine
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image
Pickpick

Pretty great! Loved how it was both over-the-top in the satirical parts (ranging from hilarious to horrifying!) and cringeworthily real in so many other ways. And the grad school setting is one that I enjoy. Lots of well-written and insightful observations, including about how painful it can be to acknowledge and care about injustice and inequality - like when main character Ingrid says she sometimes longs for “the soothing balm of apathy.”

Megabooks Great review! 7mo
Christine @Megabooks - Thanks! Yours too! :) I hope more people give this one a go! 7mo
47 likes2 comments
review
Megabooks
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image
Pickpick

PhD student Ingrid Yang has spent years studying the great (fictional) Chinese-American poet Xiao-Wen Chou and has been promised a spot at her university if she can just finish her dissertation. But cracks begin to form in her life. She gets a clue that Chou may be alive and not who he seems. This makes her question other parts of her life like why there are so many white East Asian studies professors. A smart coming-of-consciousness satire.

87 likes1 stack add
blurb
Skeebies05
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
post image

I haven't heard too many people talking about this book. TBH I'm not sure how I first heard about it. But is really good. It's funny. I can maybe say more when it's over. I do not know where it is going.

Megabooks This is on my TBR 8mo
12 likes1 comment