New Waves

a novel by Kevin Nguyen

Praise for New Waves

“A brilliant meditation on death and grief in the age of the internet. New Waves is full of modern noise and complicated love. Its prismatic, futuristic take on race and identity are a thrill to read. The book is funny and sad in equal measure, inventive, self-aware, full of insight, but also entirely enjoyable.”—Tommy Orange, author of There There

“In New Waves, a grieving young man dives into the dizzying kaleidoscope of twenty-first-century online culture, trying to understand his lost friend and the difference between our real lives and our virtual ones—or is there one? Kevin Nguyen’s debut is a knowing, witty, and thought-provoking exploration of love, modern isolation, and what it means to exist—especially as a person of color—in our increasingly digital age.” —Celeste Ng,  author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere

“E.M. Forster’s mandate was to ‘only connect.’ Kevin Nguyen shows us that in our brave new digital world, the best way to do that might be to disconnect. The result is New Waves, a sleek, stylish novel that weaves between disaffection and desire.”—Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer and The Refugees

“Kevin Nguyen’s New Waves collapses every tired distinction about the internet. In this novel of relationships, race, and loss, everything is both permanent and ephemeral—technology both preserves and buries culture, and the people who ghost you can also haunt you. With his swift, funny, and merciless prose, Nguyen smartly dissects how life online may be digital, but it’s far from binary.”—Tony Tulathimutte, author of Private Citizens

New Waves is a delight and a gamble and a treasure and a miracle. Nguyen’s novel broke my heart. It made me laugh harder than any book reasonably should. It’s everything I could possibly want in a story—but it’s also that rarest, most unachievable of things: New Waves is truly something new.”—Bryan Washington, author of Lot

New Waves is a virtuosic debut novel delving into the wild vicissitudes of living with, and on, the internet. I’ll read anything by Kevin Nguyen.”—R. O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

“Mordant and fiercely smart, Kevin Nguyen’s New Waves is a mystery within a mystery within a love story and it left me haunted, breathless. An ambitious, unsparing, exhilarating debut.”—Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me and Dare Me

New Waves is not one novel, but several: an acerbic portrait of startup culture, a circa-now account of twentysomething life in New York City, a moving exploration of grief, and a clear-eyed appraisal of race, sex, and privilege. Nguyen deserves our loudest applause.”—Ryan Chapman, author of Riots I Have Known

“I can’t tell any of my white friends about your book.”— Kevin’s mom 

What happens when we die?

The ones who love us will miss us.

Wait, isn’t that what Keanu said

—and in their grief, their behavior will become strange and selfish.
Almost hilariously so.

Is that what New Waves is about?

Well, sort of.

March 10 - Brooklyn, NY

Books Are Magic
with Hua Hsu

March 30

Amerie’s Book Club

April 2

One World Ideas x Action

with Cathy Park Hong & Mira Jacob

April 21

At Home with Literati

with Rebecca Dinerstein

April 24

BuzzFeed Reader

with Veronica Roth & Arianna Rebolini

April 28

Ivy Bookshop Book Club

April 30

The New Republic Salon Series

with Laura Marsh

May 8

BOMB Magazine EOD

May 9

Les Bleus Literary Salon

June 9 - Brooklyn, NY

Antibody Reading Series

Reviews for New Waves

“Nguyen’s own attempts to infuse New Waves with politics, heart and reality are admirable. He captures beautifully the subtle strains of being disenfranchised, poor and lonely in New York.”
— New York Times Book Review

New Waves manages to be both knowing and cutting, a satire of internet culture that is also a moving portrait of a lost human being.”
— Los Angeles TImes

“While satirizing the tech world’s social mores, Nguyen also unearths the biases that govern our digital infrastructure, which are omnipresent in everything from the algorithm behind Pac-Man to the underpinnings of surveillance technology.“ — The New Yorker

“Funny and sad, smart and wise, completely of the moment, this is a book you want to read.“  — Newsday

“Mr. Nguyen is insightful and precise about the particular kind of emptiness that can infect the tech world.”— Wall Street Journal

“An exciting debut about the ways young people connect at work and beyond as their lives migrate online.”
— GQ

“Though death dominates the proceedings, New Waves itself is a novel that is very much alive.”
— New York Observer

“What propels the novel forward is its easy readability and cactus-sharp wit.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Nguyen’s ambitious debut is a mash-up of reflection, growth, and rumination on death. In a world that seems increasingly chaotic and divided, Nguyen offers a refuge with his humble, distinct take on race relations in America, and smart analysis of the ways technology shape our personal and public lives.“
— Ploughshares

“Nguyen’s stellar debut is a piercing assessment of young adulthood, the tech industry, and racism.”— Publishers Weekly, starred review ⭐️

“A blistering sendup of startup culture and a sprawling, ambitious, tender debut.” — Kirkus, starred review ⭐️

“If a Venn diagram highlighted the overlaps among racism, sexism, technology, and millennial ennui, Nguyen’s edgy novel would be smack–dab at the center.“ — Booklist, starred review ⭐️

New Waves is a funny, biting critique of tech culture”
SF Weekly

“Readers deeply immersed in our increasingly tech-savvy environment will delight in Nguyen’s piercing take on race and gender issues in the workplace, and the ethical debates swirling around social media sites.“
— Bookpage