Literary Fiction


by Weike Wang

We’re happy to support debut authors, including Weike Wang with Chemistry.

Quick take

Seeing the world through the lens of chemistry is novel, if only as a reminder that the messiness of life follows no particular formula.

Why I love it

During some days'”and countless insomniac nights'”my mind plays an endless reel.  It spins from work nightmares, to worries about my sons, to random thoughts that pop in and out.  I try and calm them through yogic breathing, and sometimes that works, but because I’m an anxious person, about 75% of the time I just have to let it play out, until I fall asleep or am distracted by something that tak...


Three years into her graduate studies at a demanding Boston university, the unnamed narrator of this nimbly wry, concise debut finds her one-time love for chemistry is more hypothesis than reality. She's tormented by her failed research'”and reminded of her delays by her peers, her advisor, and most of all by her Chinese parents, who have always expected nothing short of excellence from her thro...

Member thoughts

30% Love
51% Like
18% Dislike
  • Karin N.

    Chicago, IL

    "The author packs a lot into a tiny book--covers relationships, immigration, living up to your parents expectations, and work life."

  • Alexys H.

    Pensacola, FL

    "dry sense of humor, thought provoking, includes good historical/scientific vignettes which help flesh out the story. I saw a lot of myself in the narrator. loved it."

  • Susan W.

    Elmhurst, IL

    "So many different kinds of Chemistry... kept me interested. Great format to read... great for starting and stopping if your busy. Could relate to so much. "

  • Candi M.

    Roswell, NM

    "Quick easy read. Nice character development!"

  • Jessica R.

    Meridianville, AL

    "This book is a gem. Wang's voice is honest, compelling, smart, and beautiful. She describes the most complex scientific concepts with ease and uses them to provide insight to our human existence. "

  • Ruth H.

    Eugene, OR

    "Loved the dry humor, but also felt moved by the narrator's coming to terms with her relationship with her parents and her feelings for Eric."

  • Elise A.

    St. Louis, MO

    "As a postdoc, I related to the lead character on 100 different levels. I enjoyed, and was heartened by her path from self-doubt to finding her inner peace and strength. I didn't want it to end. "

  • Kelsey M.

    Kent, WA

    "Loved Wang's humor and the format of this book. Very well crafted story!"

  • Katelyn B.

    Washington, DC

    "The only thing better than the funny yet heartbreaking story Wang tells here is how she tells it. I loved the sometimes rambling, sometimes disjointed inner monologue."

  • Noa H.

    La Canada, CA

    "As a daughter of an Asian mother and a chemistry major in college, felt this was written just for me.....amazing."

  • Alvita T.

    Pasadena, CA

    "Beautiful short passages about science, academic life, family, relationships, and growing up. As a graduate student, I especially found her voice relatable and her writing funny, poignant, and real."