Reading guide for The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Wangs vs. the World

by Jade Chang

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang X
The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2016, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2017, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Why is Charles Wang mad at America and mad at history? What does the novel suggest or reveal about "the American Dream"? What does Charles have to say about the American Dream and whom it belongs to?

2. What does Charles hope to recover? Is his plan reasonable—or successful? What do his children and his wife think of his plan?

3. Why did Saina want to be an artist as a young girl? What does she believe the purpose of art should be? What was Saina taught about the choice between art and marriage or motherhood, and what does she come to think of this teaching as an adult?

4. When Andrew turns to comedy, what does he discover as one of the true joys of kind of performance?

5. Explore the theme of luck in the novel. How much control do the characters seem to have over their own lives, and how much is a matter of luck or fate? How are wealth and good fortune ultimately defined by the story's conclusion?

6. How does each of the characters respond to the loss of the family fortune? Why does Barbra believe that her experience of this loss is different than everyone else's? Who does she believe is most imprisoned by their possessions, and to whom does she think wealth should belong? Do you agree with her? Why or why not?

7. Why does the car accident have such a profound impact on Grace? Do you think she would have had a similar revelation on her own? And how does it relate to Andrew's thoughts about connection and love?

8. At the end of his affair with Dorrie, what does Andrew think is the only thing that matters? Does the rest of the novel seem to support or overturn his point of view? Explain.

9. Explore the treatment of gender in the book. What does Charles believe are the fundamental differences between men and women? Is there any difference in the way that Charles treats his son versus his daughters? How are the female characters in the novel treated by others? Do the female characters seem to have the same opportunities available to them as the men? Discuss.

10. How are the Wangs ultimately affected by their travels together and their reunion?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Mariner Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: We Set the Dark on Fire
    We Set the Dark on Fire
    by Tehlor Mejia
    On the island of Medio, a wall separates the wealthy elite from those less fortunate who lack the ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Leopard, Red Wolf
    Black Leopard, Red Wolf
    by Marlon James
    If you are looking for an indulgent, escapist fantasy, Black Leopard, Red Wolf may not be for you. ...
  • Book Jacket: That Time I Loved You
    That Time I Loved You
    by Carianne Leung
    Carrianne Leung was a Toronto Book Award finalist for That Time I Loved You as well as for her debut...
  • Book Jacket: The Pianist from Syria
    The Pianist from Syria
    by Aeham Ahmad
    Aeham Ahmad became famous as the face of Syrian suffering when a photo of him playing piano in the ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A People's History of Heaven
    by Mathangi Subramanian

    A story of love and friendship, and fighting for the places we love.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    My Lovely Wife
    by Samantha Downing

    Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D T T! Full S A!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.