I’M A SERIAL CHAPTER-ONE drafter,” says Susie Yang, who’ll write a million versions before she gets to the chapter one. But once she dreamt up her grabby first sentence—“Ivy Lin was a thief, but you would never know it to look at her”—Yang cranked out the first chapter over a sixhour stretch. White Ivy is a riveting, razorsharp read that turns the classic American Dream on its head. Ivy Lin is a Chinese immigrant who reconnects with her childhood crush—wealthy, WASPy, handsome Gideon Speyer—until a blast from her past threatens to expose her double life.
“I’ve always loved antiheroes,” says Yang, citing Breaking Bad, House of Cards, and Gone Girl. “I’m drawn to people who want something so badly, you want to see how far they’re willing to go to get it.” Yang herself has taken a circuitous route to her first novel. After earning a doctorate in pharmacy, she launched a tech startup before studying creative writing. Watch caught up with Yang—who currently resides in the U.K. with her husband—to discuss her dazzling debut.
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