Award-winning author of Goodbye, Vitamin and Real Americans
Photo credit: Andria Lo
About Rachel Khong
Rachel Khong’s debut novel Goodbye, Vitamin is at once a captivating and quirky diaristic account of a daughter’s year caring for her father in the wake of his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and a moving – and unexpectedly funny – story about loss, forgiveness, devotion, and early adulthood. Winner of the California Book Award for First Fiction, and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, and Esquire, among others, Goodbye, Vitamin announced Khong as an inventive storyteller and a bold new talent in the world of fiction.
Khong’s highly anticipated second novel, Real Americans (2024), is an ambitious and explosive story that reckons with many of the profound questions of our time: What makes us who we are? How inevitable are our futures? And how far would you go to shape your own destiny? In her signature immersive and moving prose, Khong has written a social novel par excellence that tackles race and visibility, family and inheritance, class and striving, and the way a single family can be made and undone across generations.
Khong speaks to library, university, and literary audiences about writing immigrant experiences, and her own approach to literary craft. Her acclaimed novels, filled with pathos and written with the eye of a master storyteller, are tailor-made for book club discussions and offer an entry point to conversations about identity, science, and family.
Previously, Khong served as the managing editor and later the executive editor of Lucky Peach magazine, where she also edited the cookbook All About Eggs. In 2018, Khong founded The Ruby, a work and event space for women and non-binary writers and artists in San Francisco’s Mission district that she led until 2021.Her work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Cut, The Guardian, The Paris Review, and Tin House.
An Evening with Rachel Khong
In a wide-ranging fireside chat format, Rachel Khong discusses the inspirations for and the process of writing her acclaimed novels Goodbye, Vitamin and Real Americans. In an intimate conversational setting, Khong elaborates on her approach to craft and the themes that animate her stories: memory and presence, betrayal and forgiveness, immigration and belonging, race and visibility, class and privilege, and the dark possibilities latent in scientific progress.
Writing Fast and Slow: On Inspiration, Patience, Devotion, and Inefficiency
In this talk for all interested writers and readers, Rachel Khong dives into her writing process—the inspiration, the patience, the devotion, and the insecurities that accompany and shape her work. Drawing on her award-winning debut novel Goodbye, Vitamin and her highly anticipated second novel Real Americans, Khong reflects on her process as an artist, as well as the fraught relationship between art and productivity in an age of AI and increased distraction.
Writing Immigrant Families: An Exercise in Multitudes
In this personal talk, Rachel Khong shares her approach to writing American, Chinese and Malaysian identities in her work. Every immigrant family is an immigrant in its own way, and Khong reflects on the way fiction writing can offer a path to more fully explore these multifaceted identities, roles, and relationships and how they impact families – and the individuals within them – across generations.
Praise for Rachel Khong
Praise for Real Americans
Gorgeous, heartfelt, soaring, philosophical and deft, Real Americans flips the multigenerational novel inside out. Fate, honesty, our bargains with life. You will keep turning it over and over in your mind.— Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less Is Lost
Aglow with love in its many forms, suffused with questions of where—and to whom—we belong, Real Americans is a book of rare charm. Khong untangles the roots of family with a wry, tender attention that will leave readers as comforted as they are challenged.— C Pam Zhang, author of How Much of These Hills Is Gold and Land of Milk and Honey
Real Americans is a grand novel that explores the American psyche, dramatizing the fundamental American belief in the ability to change the world and improve humanity. Rachel Khong shows infinite and colorful perceptions of the world, which are often leavened with wisdom. Besides being a page turner, this book is also an eye-opener, imaginative and exhilarating.— Ha Jin, author of Waiting
Praise for Goodbye, Vitamin
One of those rare books that is both devastating and light-hearted, heartful and joyful. . . . Don't miss it.— Buzzfeed
A quietly brilliant disquisition . . . told in prose that is so startling in its spare beauty that I found myself thinking about Khong's turns of phrase for days after I finished reading.— The New York Times Book Review
Praise for Lucky Peach All About Eggs
Part tiny cookbook, part eggcyclopedia, it’s packed with facts—from the science behind the yolk’s sunny color to tips on how to tell if your egg is fresh. The range of recipes is impressive, too.— Wall Street Journal
Books by Rachel Khong
Media About Rachel Khong
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“Khong masterfully explores a family splintered by science, struggling to redefine their own lives after uncovering harrowing secrets. Real Americans is a mesmerizing multigenerational novel about privilege, identity and the illusions of the American dream.”—Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half