R.F. Kuang
Caroline Tompkins

When I began reading R.F. Kuang’s 2023 novel Yellowface, I could not put it down. It was thrilling to me to have an Asian American writer write something that is so prescient and engaged with issues such as cultural appropriation, anti-wokeness, cancel culture, and the internet mob, questioning authority and gatekeeping. It’s the kind of story that you can’t stop talking about, which is the kind of television I want to watch—engrossing stories that spark conversation. Like any great artist, she’s not preoccupied with external perception. There is a wildness and freedom to her work that is extraordinary. Her characters are complex and human; nothing feels contrived.

More from TIME

Wu is an actor and the author of Making a Scene

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

Jalen Hurts
Ice Spice
Rachel Zegler
Paul Mescal
David Moinina Sengeh
5 stories