The so-called “Great American Novel” has more than once told the story of an outsider trying to break into an East Coast elite circle, attracted to the private clubs and vacation homes that only money can buy. Most have been written by men—think  F Scott Fitzgerald, Bret Easton Ellis and Whit Stillman—but Donna Tartt also weighed in on outsiders and East Coast elitism in The Secret History. Now Susie Yang aims to insert the immigrant experience into this tradition with her debut novel, White Ivy.

With the exception of Singapore and Malaysia, where English is relatively widely used, and with the further exception of so-called “expat fiction” featuring foreign protagonists, Southeast Asia seemingly generates fewer novels in English—whether in translation or written directly in the language—than other regions of South and East Asia. This situation has ameliorated somewhat in recent years, a period that has coincided with the rise of a regional Southeast Asian culture and media market. Southeast Asian publishers are increasing sourcing and marketing books regionally.

Danilo Cruz, the protagonist of Danton Remoto’s Riverrun, is a young Filipino man raised near an American army base. From the get-go, something about Danilo is different, and everyone in his village can make it out. Even as a young boy, going to watch television at a friend’s house, the mother responds by slamming the door in his face. His reaction is violent.