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UK Publisher: Simon & Schuster

What’s a Yale-educated, “descended from the last Korean royal dynasty” girl who travels in moneyed circles and believes she’s not fit for employment do when she’s 55-grand in debt and her once-rich family is tapped out? In this satirical debut, Hong answers that question by pairing would-be princess Jude Lee with Madame Tartakov, a shady matron who agrees to pay off Jude’s debt if Jude works for her as a courtesan in New York for two years.

Hong captures the lure crassly outspoken Jude feels towards the good life when she dines with client Yvengy, an “irresistible” classical violinist who plies her with store credit cards. But Jude’s society prospects are hampered when, while at a booze-drenched party, she meets the fortuitously named Joshua Spinoza, a philosophy Ph.D. candidate whose wit and intelligence heighten his allure. As Jude and Joshua court one another, Madame Tartakov fades deep into the background and the story becomes one of tumultuous young love and the unearthing of long-buried family secrets.


Praise for KEPT:

‘In Y Euny Hong’s impressively deft debut… the writing is immaculate [and] the story’s evolution nearly effortless… Hong has crafted a delightfully erudite and justifiably literary novel, in tune with a narrator as witty as one can be without being intimidating. It is as smart and clever as it is deliciously entertaining’ – Chicago Tribune

‘You’ll be laughing from cover to cover’ – Daily News, New York

A ‘captivating, sophisticaed high-society comedy’ – Bookpage