Out on 27 July 2023


Elaine Hsieh Chou

27 July 2023
416 pages


'The funniest, most poignant novel of the year' - Vogue

Disorientation is an uproarious and big-hearted satire – alive with sharp edges, immense warmth, and a cast of unforgettable characters – that asks: who gets to tell our stories?

Twenty-nine-year-old PhD student Ingrid Yang is desperate to finish her dissertation on the much-lauded poet Xiao-Wen Chou and never read about ‘Chinese-y’ things again. When she accidentally stumbles upon a strange and curious note in the Chou archives, she convinces herself it’s her ticket out of academic hell.

But Ingrid’s in much deeper than she thinks. Her clumsy exploits to unravel the note’s message lead to an explosive discovery, one that upends her entire life and the lives of those around her. With her trusty friend Eunice Kim by her side and her rival Vivian Vo hot on her tail, together they set off a roller coaster of mishaps and misadventures, from campus protests and over-the-counter drug hallucinations, to book burnings and a movement that stinks of Yellow Peril propaganda. In the aftermath, nothing looks the same, including her gentle and doting white fiancé . . .

'The funniest novel I’ve read all year' - Aravind Adiga, author of The White Tiger

'Funny, fearless' - Observer

'Elaine Hsieh Chou's pen is a scalpel' - Raven Leilani, author of Luster

The funniest, most poignant novel of the year
Funny, fearless . . . acutely inspects the power of the white gaze, academic imperialism, peer rivalry and self-hate
A rollicking, whip-smart ride through the hallowed halls of academia