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The protagonist of Angela S. Choi’s comic debut novel channels the anger of every woman who has been belittled or demeaned, says Kaite Welsh

hellokittymustdie cover

“I hate Hello Kitty.

“I hate her for not having a mouth or fangs like a proper kitty. She can’t eat, bite off a nipple or finger, give head… She can’t even scratch your eyes out. Just clawless, fangless, voiceless, with that placid blank expression topped by a pink ribbon.”

The cutesy, mute Asian cartoon character Hello Kitty, beloved so many, is the surprising villain at the heart of Angela S. Choi’s darkly comic debut novel. She tells the tale of Fiona Yu, a Chinese-American lawyer whose parents are desperate to see her married – or at least wearing lipstick – and Sean, her childhood-best-friend-turned-plastic-surgeon with a grisly hobby.

Whilst all Fiona’s parents want is for their daughter to get married, all Fiona wants is to be left alone. Oh, and her hymen back. The novel begins when Choi’s heroine, determined to lose what she terms as her “family’s honour”, takes her own virginity only to discover that, by a biological quirk, she never had a cherry to lose in the first place.

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