The Chosen and the Beautiful
By Nghi Vo
A sumptuous, decadent read.”—The New York Times
“Vo has crafted a retelling that, in many ways, surpasses the original.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.
Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer and Asian, a Vietnamese adoptee treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.
But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.
Nghi Vo’s debut novel, The Chosen and the Beautiful, reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.
This discussion guide was shared and sponsored in partnership with Tor books.
Use these discussion questions to guide your next book club meeting.
The novel opens with a wind that blows Jordan and Daisy around “like a pair of young women in white dresses who had no cares to weigh them down.” Are they truly a pair of young women with no cares? Is that how they think of themselves? Does Jordan have a reason to want to be seen like that?
While The Great Gatsby is written from Nick Carraway’s perspective, The Chosen and the Beautiful is written from Jordan Baker’s point of view. Why do you think the author chose Jordan over Nick, or even Daisy? How is the world that Jordan sees different from that of the other characters?
Jordan very much considers herself a modern girl, but easily half of the book is taken up with the past, especially her and Daisy’s shared years in Louisville. How does knowing Jordan and Daisy’s past contribute to how you understand them in the present?