Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians

Author Kevin Kwan's newest title, Crazy Rich Asians, has been described as ''an English-manor-house novel'' but told from an Asian point of view. We'd add ''with a take-no-prisoners sense of humor.'' Kwan, who was born in Singapore, crafts a comedic multigenerational saga about über-rich Asians that he admits is loosely based on his own family. (''This is fiction,'' he stresses in interviews.) The book centers on a wedding. Not just any wedding, mind you. This one's sure to be the social highlight of the year for the Chinese aristocracy, with entertainment by the Vienna Boys' Choir and Cirque du Soleil and festivities spread out over several islands. The various factions of the clan, some more traditional than others, gather for the extravagant event. It's that cultural chasm between the family members that Kwan mines for humor.

Kwan says he removed the more over-the-top displays of wealth from the novel, not because they weren't true but because they were so outrageous that his editor felt readers wouldn't believe them. (More outrageous than having Cirque du Soleil entertaining guests on several islands?)

There's a reception with Kwan after the reading and discussion. 7 p.m. Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore. For information, call 713-496-9901 or visit asiasociety.org/texas. Free to $5.
Wed., July 17, 7 p.m., 2013

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Olivia Flores Alvarez