Welcome to episode 10 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. This week Jonathan and Gary have a delightful conversation with Nghi Vo, whose The Empress of Salt and Fortune won this year’s Crawford Award and is a Hugo finalist, and whose debut novel The Chosen and the Beautiful, a fantastical revisioning of The Great Gatsby with a queer, Asian Jordan Baker as narrator, is out this week.
We discuss the value of fanfic, the virtues and vacancies of Fitzgerald’s classic novel, the question of whether any narrators are ever reliable, and how Nghi managed to convey the sense of a full epic fantasy in The Empress of Salt and Fortune and then shift to a very different narrative mode in When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, the second novella in the “Singing Hills” cycle. We also get a preview of the forthcoming novel Siren Queen, with its intriguing exploration—again in fantastic terms—of the early Hollywood film industry as experienced by an Asian actress.
As always, our thanks to our guest, Nghi, for her time. We hope all of you enjoy the episode.