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Days of Distraction: Book summary and reviews of Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang

Days of Distraction

by Alexandra Chang

Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang X
Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang
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About this book

Book Summary

A wry, tender portrait of a young woman - finally free to decide her own path, but unsure if she knows herself well enough to choose wisely - from a captivating new literary voice.

The plan is to leave. As for how, when, to where, and even why—she doesn't know yet. So begins a journey for the twenty-four-year-old narrator of Days of Distraction. As a staff writer at a prestigious tech publication, she reports on the achievements of smug Silicon Valley billionaires and start-up bros while her own request for a raise gets bumped from manager to manager. And when her longtime boyfriend, J, decides to move to a quiet upstate New York town for grad school, she sees an excuse to cut and run.

Moving is supposed to be a grand gesture of her commitment to J and a way to reshape her sense of self. But in the process, she finds herself facing misgivings about her role in an interracial relationship. Captivated by the stories of her ancestors and other Asian Americans in history, she must confront a question at the core of her identity: What does it mean to exist in a society that does not notice or understand you?

Equal parts tender and humorous, and told in spare but powerful prose, Days of Distraction is an offbeat coming-of-adulthood tale, a touching family story, and a razor-sharp appraisal of our times.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[An] incisive debut...Chang's humorous, timely observations on race, technology, and relationships lend immediacy to the narrator's chronicle of self-awareness. This introduces a formidably talented writer." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The narrator's meditations on themes like racism, capitalism, the role of technology in our lives, and complicated family relationships are simultaneously uniquely insightful and accessible to anyone who has grappled with these issues themselves. Beautifully crafted and deeply thoughtful." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Chang portrays early adulthood with elegance and an offbeat humor that complements her poignant and deeply significant observations of life as a woman of color. She explores the struggle to be free in an oppressive society with incredible insight and clear, captivating prose that set her apart as a striking new voice in literature." - Booklist (starred review)

"A startlingly original and deeply moving debut—kaleidoscopic, funny, heart-rending, beautifully observed, and formally daring. It struck me as a new variety of novel....Chang here establishes herself as one of the most important of the new generation of American writers." - George Saunders

"A wholly engaging joy to read. Chang writes with wit and sharpness as she curates moments, observations and histories that together make something of beautiful depth and significance. It takes great bravery to make art of so many of those things we fear and love. An important, gratifying read." - Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black

"Days of Distraction seized my attention like no other novel, distracting me entirely from my own life. The magic of this book is that its scale seems small, fixating on the minute details that make up our days: the anxieties, the obsessions, the observations made in the office, the neighborhood, the coffee shop. And yet inside Alexandra Chang's brilliant narrator is a grand, restless consciousness....This is a book about America, and also an American love story, one that will leave you achingly awakened." - Eleanor Henderson, author of Ten Thousand Saints

"Days of Distraction is the kind of book so alive with intelligence, humor, and attention that it made me feel more awake to the world just to read it. Alexandra Chang's finely tuned observations are a miracle of precision and clarity as she illuminates how complex and entangled our notions of selfhood, family, love, history, and existence ultimately are, and how perilous and exhilarating the journey to navigate them can be." - Catherine Chung, author of The Tenth Muse

This information about Days of Distraction was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

anonymous

I did not like this book.
This book was extremely hard to get into, and the chapters were very long. I feel that the beginning of this book was confusing and hard to follow.

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Author Information

Alexandra Chang

Alexandra Chang is from Northern California. She wrote Days of Distraction while living in Ithaca, NY with her husband and their dog and cat.

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