Today, we are delighted that guest author Chloe Gong spoke to us about the story, representation and monsters from her book. These cruel pleasures.
Interview with Chloe Gong
Book smugglers: These cruel pleasures there are obviously competing gangs competing for power and causing chaos and body numbers, as well as a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River, leading to even more chaos and more body numbers. What research did you do if you did to capture your 1920s Shanghai vision?
CHLOE: It was a combination of technical research (also known as flipping history textbooks and spending hours in the school library) and a question for parents and relatives. a lot questions! I wanted the environment to feel as realistic as possible even when I came up with fantastic elements like a monster and a deadly contagion. While this is fiction, 1920s Shanghai was still this gleaming, vibrant place in real history, and I wanted to capture its atmosphere as much as possible by combining culture and facts to make readers truly feel at the time. these fictional events take place.
Book smugglers: Talk to us about Shakespeare and his influence Romeo And Juliet had you and this book.
CHLOE: I am a complete Shakespeare nerd. Sometimes people think that means I am a great English specialist who can understand his plays very easily, and I am The English specialty (most of the brain still needs to be fixed) also has a lot of trouble understanding Shakespeare, so I feel useful as I dive and work through the language to get all this rich thematic content and these craft choices. Gold is buried under complicated older English! Romeo And Juliet or such a cornerstone text for later emerging Western literature topics! This book was essentially my effort to re-engage with the key themes that have always inspired me, with the exception of a new twist and a new cultural lens that we have not yet seen.
Book smugglers: You said this book is your love letter to Shanghai, Shakespeare and your younger self looking for representation in YA’s fiction. You talked about the first two pillars that inspired your book, but we would like to explore the importance of representation in your work. (Especially now, through the lens of the world in 2021, where the clear legacy of colonialism and AAPI hatred is so painfully prevalent.)
CHLOE: For me, portrayal in fiction means to show the world as it is. It’s about telling our own stories and incorporating fully realized identities into the page: people who experience stories as whole people, not just as Asian or Chinese people. Marginalized identities color the way someone sees the world, and the stories in which it is treated as the main focus are extremely important and need a place in the main fiction, but I also grew up with fantastic tales of (white) girls who just save the world and i go on adventures and i wanted to write stories like that, only with heroines that would allow my teen to see herself on the page.
Book smugglers: If you could host a luxurious, timeless celebration with characters from These cruel pleasuresand other characters from any other fictional world: who and why? And what would you serve?
CHLOE: Oh, characters from Cassandra Clare Last hours trilogy! Technically, the periods are already overlapping, but also because I think Juliette and Matthew Fairchild would be great friends, so it would be an absolute spree. The celebration can serve the best wine money and all the great Shanghai dishes.
Book smugglers: Finally, a question we ask all our interlocutors: we, the book smugglers, are doomed to the many books we bring home every day. That’s why we sometimes used “smuggled books” at home to avoid condemning, investigative eyes. Have you ever had to carry books?
CHLOE: I used to swallow books at my local library, and since I came in about every week, I had to make sure I brought it home enough for my choice to actually last seven days because I was tox fast reader. Although I never pampered anyone to leave, I had to hide some checked books in a bag or carry them on two trips because every time I actually carried a whole bunch of similar, 15 books from the library door to my mom’s car, I found so many weird side eyes.
About the author
Chloe Gong is on New York time bestselling author These cruel pleasures and its sequel Our cruel end. She recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a dual degree in English and International Relations. Born in Shanghai and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Chloe is now based in New York and pretends to be a true adult.
After eating the entire YA section of her local library, she started writing her novels at the age of 13 to have fun, and has been a lot of fun ever since. Chloe was known to mysteriously appear to be singing Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays and does not deserve slander in pop culture. three times in the mirror.
About the book
The year is 1926, and Shanghai is humming horny.
The blood quarrel between the two gangs turns red in the streets, making the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former splinter who has returned to take on her role as the successor to the proud Scarlet Gang, a network of criminals far beyond the law. Their only competitors in power are the White Flowers, which have been fighting scarecrows for generations. Behind every step lies their successor, Rome Montagov, Juliet’s first love … and her first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability, culminating in a cutout of their own throats, people begin to whisper. For contagion, madness. In the shadow of a monster. As the death toll rises, Juliet and Rome must lay down their arms and anger to the country and work together, because if they cannot stop this chaos, there will be no city left to rule.
Great for fans The last mage and Descendant of the winch, this heartbreaking debut is imagination Romeo And Juliet a retelling created in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.