Impostor Syndrome

Kathy Wang. Custom House, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-285528-2
Wang (Family Trust) leavens this glossy tale of corporate espionage with savvy takes on cultural assimilation in contemporary America. Julia Lerner, plucked from a Russian orphanage by intelligence agent Leo Guskov, has been groomed to infiltrate Silicon Valley social media giant Tangerine. Julia’s rise to COO—a position that gives her access to sensitive data on Tangerine’s billions of users—sounds an alarm for Alice Lu, a Chinese American member of Tangerine’s staff, who is mortified to discover that a data breach she flags in the company’s system is linked to Julia’s private account. Julia and Alice’s pas de deux drives the plot and gives Wang ample space to reflect on modern corporate attitudes toward gender, ethnicity, and the American dream’s appeal to socially disadvantaged members of minority groups and to foreign nationals who, in this case, work to undermine the very country whose values and opportunities they are eager to embrace (in their own ways, Julia and Leo develop a preference for the possibilities that America has to offer). The story builds to a number of dramatic moments that happen offstage, somewhat diminishing the dramatic impact, but Wang’s depictions of office politics and geopolitical dynamics are spot-on. This offers plenty of grist for reader rumination. Agent: Michelle Brower, Aevitas Creative Management (June)
Reviewed on : 03/17/2021
Release date: 06/15/2021
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-285530-5
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-06-309037-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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