Coming January 9th, 2024!

The Fetishist

by Katherine Min

Booklist (starred)

This raucous, gorgeous, harrowing novel from Min, who passed away in 2019, was published with help from the author’s daughter. Starring in this fairytale gone wrong is Kyoko, a punk rock musician in her early twenties, who harbors a revenge fantasy since the tragic death of her classical musician mother. With help from her sweet boyfriend, Kornell, she endeavors to make the man responsible for her mother’s passing, Daniel, pay for his actions. The novel unfolds as a four-sided prism via the complex, intertwined lives of Kyoko and three others; the book’s fifth main character is the white male fetishization of Asian women. Min’s narration plays with the shapes, sounds, and anagrams of her words to give richness to the story, which bullets forth in theatrical fashion, distended with tension, until the final, exquisite burst. Though it’s as fun as a blockbuster film, it also offers the rich inner humanity only a novel can. Min’s characters are flawed and lovable—even the villains. Ultimately, the story rages against and holds space for the infuriating experience of loving a villain. A farce that deftly tackles shame, grief, parents, chronic illness, colonialism, and the hollowness of enmity in a systemically unjust world? Magic. Min’s wit and wisdom live on.

— Courtney Eathorne