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Weike Wang - book author

WEIKE WANG is a graduate of Harvard University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry and her doctorate in public health. She received her MFA from Boston University. Her fiction has been published in or is forthcoming from Alaska Quarterly Review, Glimmer Train, The Journal, Ploughshares, Redivider, and SmokeLong Quarterly.

Weike Wang is the author of books: Chemistry, It’s A Shame About Ray (Electric Literature's Recommended Reading Book 285), Villette

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01
Three years into her graduate studies at a demanding Boston university, the unnamed narrator of this nimbly wry, concise debut finds her one-time love for chemistry is more hypothesis than reality. She's tormented by her failed research--and reminded of her delays by her peers, her advisor, and most of all by her Chinese parents, who have always expected nothing short of excellence from her throughout her life. But there's another, nonscientific question looming: the marriage proposal from her devoted boyfriend, a fellow scientist, whose path through academia has been relatively free of obstacles, and with whom she can't make a life before finding success on her own.

Eventually, the pressure mounts so high that she must leave everything she thought she knew about her future, and herself, behind. And for the first time, she's confronted with a question she won't find the answer to in a textbook: What do I really want? Over the next two years, this winningly flawed, disarmingly insightful heroine learns the formulas and equations for a different kind of chemistry--one in which the reactions can't be quantified, measured, and analyzed; one that can be studied only in the mysterious language of the heart. Taking us deep inside her scattered, searching mind, here is a brilliant new literary voice that astutely juxtaposes the elegance of science, the anxieties of finding a place in the world, and the sacrifices made for love and family.
03
From the author of Jane Eyre, a strikingly modern story of a young woman starting over—with an introduction by Weike Wang, PEN/Hemingway Award–winning author of Chemistry.

“Villette! Villette! Have you read it?” exclaimed George Eliot when Charlotte Brontë’s final novel appeared in 1853. “It is a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre. There is something almost preternatural in its power.”

Arguably Charlotte Brontë’s most refined and deeply felt work—Virginia Woolf called it Brontë’s “finest novel”—Villette draws on its author’s own experiences as a governess, and her profound loneliness following the deaths of her three siblings. It tells the story of parentless, friendless Lucy Snowe, who flees from an unhappy past in England to begin a new life as a teacher at a boarding school in the small French town of Villette. Soon Lucy’s struggle for independence is challenged by both her friendship with a worldly English doctor and her feelings for an autocratic schoolmaster. Brontë’s strikingly modern heroine must decide if there is any man in her society with whom she can live and still be free.

The Modern Library Torchbearers series features women who wrote on their own terms, with boldness, creativity, and a spirit of resistance.