The Fetishist (Hardcover)

The Fetishist By Katherine Min Cover Image

The Fetishist (Hardcover)


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In this hilariously savage, poignant novel by acclaimed author Katherine Min, a grieving daughter’s revenge on the man who caused her mother’s death sets off a series of unexpected reckonings.

On a cold, gloomy night, twenty-three-year-old Kyoko stands in the rain with a knife in her hoodie’s pocket. Her target is Daniel, who seduced Kyoko’s mother then callously dropped her, leading to her death. But tonight, there will be repercussions. Following the unsuspecting Daniel home, Kyoko manages to get a rash kidnapping plot off the ground . . . and then nothing goes as planned.

The Fetishist is the story of three people—Kyoko, a Japanese American punk-rock singer full of rage and grief; Daniel, a philandering violinist forced to confront the wreckage of his past; and Alma, the love of Daniel’s life, a Korean American cello prodigy long adored for her beauty, passion, and talent, but who spends her final days examining if she was ever, truly, loved.

An exuberant, provocative story that confronts race, complicity, visibility, and ideals of femininity, The Fetishist was written before the celebrated author’s untimely death in 2019. Startlingly prescient, as wise and powerful as it is utterly delightful, this novel cements Katherine Min’s legacy as a writer with a singular voice for our times.
Katherine Min received an NEA grant, a Pushcart Prize, a Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award, two New Hampshire State Council on the Arts Fellowships, and a North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship, and attended residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo, Jentel, Ucross, Hambidge, the Millay Colony, and Ledig House. Her acclaimed debut novel, Secondhand World, was a finalist for the PEN/Bingham Award in 2007. The Fetishist is her first posthumous publication.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593713655
ISBN-10: 0593713656
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: January 9th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English
One of Elle's Best Books of 2024
One of SheReads’ Must-Read Books

Most Anticipated Book of the Year:
Orange County Register • Oprah Daily • i-D • Entertainment Weekly • OurCulture •
NYLON • BookRiot • Electric Lit

"The blooming and dissolution of a romance forms the core of this wistful, often funny, posthumously published novel. . . The novel’s major chord is one of rueful longing." —The New Yorker

"A posthumous work by the masterful Katherine Min, The Fetishist is a farcical, alarming take on Lolita that plunges headfirst into the depths of objectification and sexualization, and their fraught relationships with race. There is a wicked sense of delight to this book, yet that never diminishes its parallel, clear-eyed sense of justice. Min’s ultimate talent was that she can hold both objectives in the palm of her hand, and deposit them directly on the page." —Elle

"Frank about the indignities of desire. . . Held together, at its center, by a warm and frank humanity, by tenderness and an unabashedly broad sense of humor." —The Washington Post

"Fabulous . . . A lush and vicious novel with the pacing and urgency of a thriller . . . Min pursues the idea of matching violence with violence, but also explores the gray area of reconciliation and rehabilitation."Los Angeles Times

"A stunner, filled with startling insights about men and women, the cost and power of making art, the way the world views Asian women, as well as the ways they view themselves." —WWNO (NPR)

"Provocative, hilarious, and darkly serious. . . Compelling, funny, and intelligent.” —Texas Public Radio (NPR)

"Bursting with wit and insight, Min’s novel is a wild delight." —PEOPLE

"Extraordinary . . . This sharp story is at turns vicious and hilarious, critical and engaging." —Ms. Magazine

"Like a retelling of Lolita with all the queasy details of desire boldly recast.”New York Magazine

"Delightful, fantastic, fabulous. . . There's hardly a sentence in this book — feverish and funny and razor-sharp — that does not merit quoting.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"[A] vicious, sensual, and poignant story.” —NYLON

“Min confronts race and the ways in which we try to seek it out or see through it in her blazing and thrilling posthumous novel.”—OurCulture

"Inspired by Lolita, but with an Asian fetishist in the role of Humbert Humbert and the objects of his objectification given voice, The Fetishist presents a tightly crafted examination of racial and sexual politics that is at once nuanced and no-holds-barred. . . . Long, winding sentences filled with wordplay unfold virtuosically. . . . The Fetishist brings Min's presence to bear in boisterous, prickly prose." —NPR

"[A] wild mix of humor and heartache. Written before Min left us in 2019, this book’s a testament to her genius – witty, wise, and just a tad bonkers.” —Asiana Circus

"Savage, horrible and very funny. . . [A] posthumous novel which confronts race, sexuality and complicity." —i-D Magazine

"[A] funny and delightful literary thriller. . . The world is richer for this posthumously published novel. . . beautiful, precise prose and surprising observations. . . Min has created a utopian world in which love triumphs and art makes people better people and binds them together when they experience its transcendence. . . Expertly plotted with wonderful characters and stunning prose, the book is surely what we need to hold close to in these difficult times." —Newcity Lit

"[Min’s] sense of outrageous humor and scintillating prose are on fabulous display in her posthumously published second book. . . . Violently hilarious, racy . . . The final product is truly a labor of love and a joy to read." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Looks deeply at our culture, its racism, its tendency toward colonialism, and the dynamics in which men wield power and some of those men fetishize Asian women. A fascinating own-voices read.” —Midwest Book Review

"Darkly funny, strangely poignant and sometimes startlingly vicious, The Fetishist is a wonderful novel from an author we lost too soon, and a sweeping yet intimate statement on the impacts of racism and sexism on Asian American women. . . . Captivating, hilariously twisted . . . simultaneously playful and powerful . . . This remarkably clever, wickedly incisive little book will keep you hanging on every word and leave you with questions you’ll ponder for days.” —BookPage

"Filled with grim humor, Min’s novel is an engaging and thoughtful read. Those who enjoyed Charmaine Craig’s My Nemesis and Elaine Hsieh Chou’s Disorientation are likely to appreciate this final work from Min, which fully reflects her talents as a writer."Library Journal

"[A] literary marvel. . . Min's focus is magnificently aimed at dissecting, confronting, and exposing the fetishization of Asian women, but she never loses sight of engaging, inventive, playful storytelling. Balancing biting humor, wrenching despair, and unexpected redemption, Min radiantly succeeds in delivering that promised (mostly, cautiously) happy ending. . . Impeccable, surprisingly humorous, utterly poignant." —Shelf Awareness

"[A] raucous, gorgeous, harrowing novel . . . 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, it also offers the rich inner humanity only a novel can. Min's characters are flawed and lovable—even the villains. . . . 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.” —Booklist (starred review)

"Sensitive and insightful, and its detangling of the knot that is racism, otherness, and desire is nothing short of expert. A tenderly told tale of the losses that wreck and redeem us." —Kirkus Reviews

"Spiky . . . Sets out to restore a sense of humanity to the women whose lives have been squeezed by stereotypes. . . . [A] technicolor, Tarantino-esque crime plot . . . Great fun.” —Publishers Weekly

"Incandescent, astonishing, a miracle. I’m elated and deeply grateful this book exists." —R. O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

"The Fetishist is so reverent and so unruly, so delicate and so explosive, such a merge of chamber music with the mosh pit, so devastatingly sad and devastatingly funny and alive and generous with its abundance of life! I mourn Katherine Min, and am grateful this fiery novel of hers insisted its way out of Katherine’s laptop and into the world. Hats off to Kayla Min Andrews for clearing the path." —Susan Choi, author of Trust Exercise

"The Fetishist is lit from the very first page with a wicked, crackling, hilarious intensity. The subject is provocative, the writing is flush with elegance and intelligence. I finished this book and immediately wanted to talk about it with someone. It's a fire-starter of a novel." —Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins

"Fiercely intelligent, perfectly crafted, and brimming with wit, The Fetishist is a moving exploration of art, love, grief, and desire. Katherine Min’s sentences will provoke you and wind their way around your heart." —Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers

"Blistering and brilliant, The Fetishist will move, anger, and make you wince with recognition. Katherine Min is a singular, wildly talented voice and this is a trailblazing novel which deserves widespread attention for its literary merits as well as the overdue conversations it will surely evoke. As incisive and topical on fetishization and intersectionality as Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age and Raven Leilani's Luster.” —Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti