Last Updated September 5, 2023.
The novel Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is about two professors: Rachel Chu, who teaches economics, and Nick, who teaches history. The two start dating, and Rachel eventually finds out that Nick is from a rich family. As a result, prominent quotes from the story are often about culture, class, and work.
For example, there is a line that reads:
We were buying things we actually loved, not things to show off.
This is in contrast to other quotes in the book, such as:
I criticize you when you’re wearing something that looks so cheap. It’s a disgrace to me.
The language in the book helps to characterize the difference between the wealthy people in Singapore and the different culture for professors living in New York.
You can also see the culture of Singapore in the language of Aramnita Lee, who becomes one of Rachel’s friends. Aramnita’s celebrity wedding is one of the foci of the story. She introduces Rachel to Singapore by saying:
Welcome to Singapore, Rachel—where arguing about food is the national pastime. . . . This is probably the only country in the world where grown men can get in fistfights over which specific food stall in some godforsaken shopping center has the best rendition of some obscure fried noodle dish. It’s like a pissing contest!