East City Bookshop welcomes novelist David Yoon with his debut, Frankly in Love, in conversation with writer Sandie Chen.
“Yoon's stellar debut expertly and authentically tackles racism, privilege, and characters who are trying to navigate their Korean-American identity.” - Buzzfeed
Frank Li has two names. There's Frank Li, his American name. Then there's Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California.
Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl--which is a problem, since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. Brit, who is funny and nerdy just like him. Brit, who makes him laugh like no one else. Brit . . . who is white.
As Frank falls in love for the very first time, he's forced to confront the fact that while his parents sacrificed everything to raise him in the land of opportunity, their traditional expectations don't leave a lot of room for him to be a regular American teen. Desperate to be with Brit without his parents finding out, Frank turns to family friend Joy Song, who is in a similar bind. Together, they come up with a plan to help each other and keep their parents off their backs. Frank thinks he's found the solution to all his problems, but when life throws him a curveball, he's left wondering whether he ever really knew anything about love--or himself--at all.
In this moving novel, debut author David Yoon takes on the question of who am I? with a result that is humorous, heartfelt, and ultimately unforgettable.
David Yoon grew up in Orange County, California, and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, novelist Nicola Yoon, and their daughter. He drew the illustrations for Nicola's #1 New York Times bestseller Everything, Everything. Frankly in Love is his first novel. You can visit him at davidyoon.com.
Sandie Angulo Chen is a feature writer, film critic, and book reviewer. She’s been writing about movies, books, and pop culture for more than 20 years, contributing to outlets such as The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Common Sense Media, Entertainment Weekly, Moviefone, and Variety. She lives in Silver Spring with her husband and three children.