Welcome to the Book Marks Questionnaire, where we ask authors questions about the books that have shaped them.
This week, we spoke to the author of Sex and Vanity (out now in paperback), Kevin Kwan.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
Kevin Kwan: The Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton.
BM: Favorite re-read?
KK: Snobs by Julian Fellowes. It’s a book I relish re-reading every couple of years or so.
BM: What book do you think your book is most in conversation with?
KK: My most recent novel Sex and Vanity is definitely having a long engrossing chat with E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View.
BM: A book that blew your mind?
KK: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
BM: Last book you read?
KK: Friends & Enemies by Barbara Amiel.
BM: A book that made you cry?
KK: I’m still searching for that book.
BM: What book from the past year would you like to give a shout-out to?
KK: Notes on a Silencing by Lacy Crawford.
BM: A book that actually made you laugh out loud?
KK: Lurkers by Sandi Tan. Almost fell off my bed laughing!!!
BM: Favorite book to give as a gift?
KK: Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion.
BM: Classic book on your To Be Read pile?
KK: Middlemarch by George Eliot.
BM: What’s a book with a really great sex scene?
KK: Believe it or not, Lie Down With Lions by Ken Follett.
BM: Favorite book no one has heard of?
KK: The Rules of Seduction by Daniel Magida. Truly a hidden gem.
BM: Favorite book of the 21st century?
KK: The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst
BM: Favorite book you were assigned in high school?
KK: Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. I remember when my 9th Grade English class was assigned the book, most of my classmates moaned and groaned. A month later, almost all my classmates claimed to have “lost the book” and wouldn’t return it. That’s how much everyone loved it.
BM: Book(s) you’re reading right now?
BM: Favorite children’s book?
KK: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg.
Kevin Kwan is the author of Crazy Rich Asians, the international bestselling novel that has been translated into more than 30 languages. Its sequel, China Rich Girlfriend, was released in 2015, and Rich People Problems, the final book in the trilogy, followed in 2017. For several weeks in 2018, the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy commanded the top three positions of the New York Times bestseller list—an almost unprecedented single-author trifecta, and the film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians became Hollywood’s highest grossing romantic comedy in over a decade. In 2018, Kevin was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Kevin Kwan’s Sex and Vanity is out now in paperback from Anchor Books