Crazy Rich Asians is still making the big bucks, and not just at the box office.
Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel of the same name and its two sequels have sold 1.5 million copies this year, publisher Knopf Doubleday announced Monday (via the AP). Crazy Rich Asians, along with China Rich Girlfriend (2015) and Rich People Problems (2017), have held the top three slots on the New York Times’ paperback fiction best-seller list for twenty, seven and five weeks, respectively.
According to the publisher, the book has gone back to press 54 times since January. As a unit, the trilogy has over three million copies in print in North America, per USA Today.
Like the film, the novel revolves around NYU Economics professor Rachel Chu, who discovers that her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, comes from one of the wealthiest families in Singapore. The plot is driven by the commotion that ensues when Nick brings Rachel home to meet his family and friends.
The success of Kwan’s trilogy bodes well for fiction as a whole, especially in a year inundated with political nonfiction, such as Bob Woodward’s Fear.
“In a publishing economy that is being largely driven by nonfiction, Kevin’s achievement is both singular and extraordinary,” said Anne Messitte, Publisher of Vintage and Anchor Books, in a statement. “The demand we are experiencing from readers and retailers has not ebbed since the release of the box office smash, Crazy Rich Asians.”
“It is heartening to see the readership for Kevin’s work continue to grow,” said Sonny Mehta, Chairman of Knopf Doubleday, in a statement shared by the publisher. “His novels are smart and funny and rich in cultural observation. He is as well a generous writer, full of affection for his characters, and all of those attributes are fueling word of mouth among readers.”
The film version of Crazy Rich Asians, starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding, has made more than $140 million in the United States alone. The movie is one of the first major productions to feature an Asian-led cast in a very long time. Director John M. Chu will return to direct a sequel based on Kwan’s second book, China Rich Girlfriend.
A box set of the three books comes out Oct. 23.