An Evening With Kevin Kwan & Petra Mayer

The characters in Kevin Kwan’s internationally bestselling Crazy Rich Asians trilogy captivated readers and moviegoers alike, and his latest, Sex and Vanity – a modern-day take on E.M. Forster’s classic A Room With a View – […]


An Evening With Kevin Kwan & Petra Mayer

Authors:Petra Mayer, Kevin Kwan


The characters in Kevin Kwan’s internationally bestselling Crazy Rich Asians trilogy captivated readers and moviegoers alike, and his latest, Sex and Vanity – a modern-day take on E.M. Forster’s classic A Room With a View – does not disappoint. He’s joined by NPR Books editor Petra Mayer, a contributor to “Pop Culture Happy Hour” and a former producer and director for “All Things Considered.”

Petra Mayer

Petra Mayer (she/her) is an editor (and the resident nerd) at NPR Books, focusing on fiction, and particularly genre fiction. She brings to the job passion, speed-reading skills, and a truly impressive collection of Doctor Who doodads. You can also hear her on the air and on the occasional episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour.

Previously, she was an associate producer and director for All Things Considered on the weekends. She handled all of the show’s books coverage, and she was also the person to ask if you wanted to know how much snow falls outside NPR’s Washington headquarters on a Saturday, how to belly dance, or what pro wrestling looks like up close and personal.

Mayer originally came to NPR as an engineering assistant in 1994, while still attending Amherst College. After three years spending summers honing her soldering skills in the maintenance shop, she made the jump to Boston’s WBUR as a newswriter in 1997. Mayer returned to NPR in 2000 after a roundabout journey that included a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a two-year stint as an audio archivist and producer at the Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. She still knows how to solder.

Kevin Kwan

Kevin Kwan is the author of the international bestsellers Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems. Crazy Rich Asians was a #1 New York Times bestseller, a major motion picture, and has been translated into more than thirty languages. Sex and Vanity (Doubleday)tells the glittery tale of a young woman who finds herself torn between two men: the WASPY fiancé of her family’s dreams and George Zao, the man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with. Lucie Churchill, the daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a blue-blooded New York father, has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side. When on her very first morning on the island of Capri she sets eyes on George Zao, she instantly can’t stand him. She can’t stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can’t stand that he knows more about Casa Malaparte than she does, and she really can’t stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa — and we are off to the races. Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to a literary classic, and a funny comedy of manners set between two cultures. Publishers Weekly called it “An intoxicating, breezy update of E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View… [A] delectable comedy of manners—the literary equivalent of white truffle and caviar pizza.”

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