Days of Distraction

Honoree, 5 Under 35 2022

Book cover for Days of Distration by Alexandra Chang
ISBN 9780062951809
Ecco / HarperCollins Publishers |
Author headshot of Alexandra Chang, Credit Alana Davis Photography
Alexandra Chang

Alexandra Chang is the author of Days of Distraction and Tomb Sweeping. Her writing has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, the New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Guernica, and elsewhere. She lives in Ventura County, California. More about this author >

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The plan is to leave. As for how, when, to where, and even why—she doesn’t know yet. So begins a journey for the twenty-four-year-old narrator of Days of Distraction. As a staff writer at a prestigious tech publication, she reports on the achievements of smug Silicon Valley billionaires and start-up bros while her own request for a raise gets bumped from manager to manager. And when her longtime boyfriend, J, decides to move to a quiet upstate New York town for grad school, she sees an excuse to cut and run.

Moving is supposed to be a grand gesture of her commitment to J and a way to reshape her sense of self. But in the process, she finds herself facing misgivings about her role in an interracial relationship. Captivated by the stories of her ancestors and other Asian Americans in history, she must confront a question at the core of her identity: What does it mean to exist in a society that does not notice or understand you?

Equal parts tender and humorous, and told in spare but powerful prose, Days of Distraction is an offbeat coming-of-adulthood tale, a touching family story, and a razor-sharp appraisal of our times.