Harsimran Kaur ON  June 10, 2023, IN BOOK REVIEW, YELLOWFACE BY REBECCA F. KUANG-FICTION

Rating: 5/5

A mind has a temper to dislodge what it forsakes to be untrue. Let’s glance at truth then; isn’t it a fallacy to the mind because it’s only a fabrication of observations and distorted illusions. We see it as ‘truth’ because it’s ours but perceptions matter. It stays with us until a fusillade of discordant anomalies sting a sigh of displeasures. Truth—a magnificent outplay for ones who hear it but an impasto of webs and fissures who cultivate it through hues of calibrated thoughts.

She knows the truth, the sanctified murmur pants in the heart every day to collaborate it with a false hegemony. She is the Lamprey causing devastation in the ocean, knuckles and stiffens her arduous self to feed on what does not belong to her. Please don’t mistake her for a fish! For god sake, she is a human! Misaligned though in her propensity to devour the glorious heritage that easily swims across her—a springing mouth coalescing the grunts and boops as hers. What a parasitic twang? June fits in the geography plastically, not permanently as change is the law of nature though temporarily.

June, a white woman, a budding yet bedeviled writer, questions the ‘nilly-willy’ in the publishing industry and the grotesque uproar of illustrious careers that nibble her like crows grating repugnant tants. She wishes to be the crow but currently is pressed to be a caged parrot. The color of her skin finds a gleaming shift from the deserving privilege to a loose-cannon to finally scribble a ‘yellowface’. The resounding applauses, the thunderous melting of the hard sweat paid off by million hands coveting ‘the best-selling book’ has been a bit parsimonious to June. She is a writer striked-off as a damp squib.

The carnivalesque belongs to Athena Liu, lissome in appearance and a renewed author. Her truth is her ingress in other people’s lives, walking with their emotions to finally create a story forming an incanted legacy, all this a charade for June. ‘More than a writer, Athena is an illusionist’, squeals June. Who is June then? A stealer or a robber? Actually, she is the one who surresptiously invades the original manuscript written by Athena after her indisputable death. 

We call it life’s chicanery! Somebody else’s life algorithm becomes yours plausible testimony to live it. Another’s discretion to vacillate in grief lets you understand happiness. Someone else’s purpose becomes your incessant awakening and you become the mold for the soul that leaves its idiosyncrasies as ragged piles. And the caravan passes by—Athena’s prodigious research on Chinese laborers involvement in World War 1 by the malignant British regime is inconspicuously stolen by June to publish it as her stinking gain, “The Last Front”. 

‘Yellowface’ by Rebecca F. Kuang is the magnanimity of truth that carries an impedance of falsehood, spic and span in its longevity to impress but too fragile to break in a moment of vulnerability.  June pretends to be a savior for Athena’s manuscript, on inchoate, to bring it into the mainstream publishing arena but is a cul-de-sac. A last-ditch for June is to create credibility in the writer’s market. She is successful in rolling the log until unassailable lammergeyers lampoon her lily-livered action.

An impasse follows strained by an obloquie and coarsely impugned by the publishing world, leaving June groping in the dark. The racist fraction is another gloat in the throat viably making her tonsure Athena’s ghost that has an incredible affirmation to her writings.

TAKE AWAY

It’s a coarse-feast laid down; June‘s desire to be a part of the delicacies so passionately savored by who’s who; Athena, a concomitant piquant probably more of a ghostly la-di-da who resides in June to accost her of the pilferage and wax off the implausible fantasies that she has got used to. It’s all dark, gloomy out there. The brightness is selected from you to illuminate the possessed charm. June realizes this truth and protects what she has earned. The biggest truth of her life becomes an irritant somehow. She tries to brush off the sazzy residues but her self-effacing torpids becomes a liability in a lair of selfishness.

Untiringly thrilling and hooks you up at the corner stone…

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