kaya publishes books of the asian pacific diaspora


At long last, Ed Lin’s debut YA novel David Tung Can’t Have a Girlfriend Until He Gets Into an Ivy League College is available for pre-order, and will be published this September. UPDATE: David Tung will now be officially published in October, but available to pre-orders by September!

In these times, when the day-to-day challenges and heartbreaks of high school seem like a far-off world, come take some solace in this book, whether you’re about to start high school or left it behind long ago.

David Tung is a Chinese American high-school student who works in his family’s restaurant, competes for top rank at his upscale, Asian-majority, suburban New Jersey high school, and hangs with his “real” friends at weekend Chinese school in NYC’s working-class Chinatown. When popular girl Christina Tau asks David to the high school Dame’s Dance, David’s tightly regimented life gets thrown into a tailspin–especially when he realizes that he actually has feelings for Betty, the smartest girl at Chinese school. But, as his mother reminds him, he’s not allowed to have a girlfriend! Should he defy his mother and go to the dance, or defy Cristina’s wishes and spend Saturday night studying for the MCATs? Ed Lin’s YA-debut explores coming-of-age in the Asian diaspora while navigating relationships through race, class, young love, and the confusing expectations of immigrant parental pressure.

Here’s Ed Lin talking on The PEN Pod on pandemic pressures on kids and David Tung’s likeness to himself and Asian American kids everywhere.

Stay tuned for more from Ed and David Tung. Pre-order now to get your book early with special Kaya merchandise! 

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