Houston Matters

Crazy Rich Asians: Houston’s Kevin Kwan Chronicles the Lives of Asia’s Uber Wealthy

Kwan, who grew up in Houston, talks about his book Crazy Rich Asians. The movie adaptation hits theaters today.

Crazy Rich Asians
A scene from the film adaptation of “Crazy Rich Asians,” based on the best-selling novel by Kevin Kwan, who grew up in Clear Lake.

The movie Crazy Rich Asians is released in theaters today. The film is based on the bestselling book by the same name by Kevin Kwan. It tells the story of an everyday woman who marries into the aristocratic society of the uber rich.

While the story has familiar shades of Cinderella or Pride and Prejudice, there’s at least one especially unique aspect of the film: it’s the first time in more than 25 years that a major Hollywood studio has funded a movie set in the present day that features a mostly Asian cast – the last being 1993’s The Joy Luck Club.

Kwan knows a little something about Asian representation in culture himself, having spent his formative years in Houston at a time when he was one of just a few students of Asian descent at his high school in Clear Lake.

Writer Kevin Kwan
Writer Kevin Kwan grew up in Clear Lake. He’s the best-selling author of three novels about China’s uber wealthy: Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems.

In recent years, he’s watched with fascination as economic growth in countries like China has created a new class of super rich, referred to there as “China rich.”

That fascination drove him to write Crazy Rich Asians and its sequels, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems, as he told Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty back in 2015.

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