Making a Scene
Named a Most Anticipated Book by Time and Associated Press!
A powerful and poignant new book by Crazy Rich Asians and Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu about family, romance, sex, shame, trauma, and how she found her voice on the stage.
Growing up in the friendly suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, Constance Wu was often scolded for having big feelings or strong reactions. “Good girls don’t make scenes,” people warned her. And while she spent most of her childhood suppressing her bold, emotional nature, she found an early outlet in local community theater—it was the one place where big feelings were okay—were good, even. Acting became her refuge, her touchstone, and eventually her vocation. At eighteen she moved to New York, where she’d spend the next ten years of her life auditioning, waiting tables, and struggling to make rent before her two big breaks: the TV sitcom Fresh Off the Boat and the hit film Crazy Rich Asians.
Through raw and relatable essays, Constance shares private memories of childhood, young love and heartbreak, sexual assault and harassment, and how she “made it” in Hollywood. Her stories offer a behind-the-scenes look at being Asian American in the entertainment industry and the continuing evolution of her identity and influence in the public eye. Making a Scene is an intimate portrait of pressures and pleasures of existing in today’s world.
Praise for Making a Scene
"Brilliant... achieves a vividness that most celebrity writers can only aspire to... Wu’s range as a writer is titanic." —Jezebel
"Vulnerable and audacious." —NPR
"Dazzling... Her depth of emotion makes her memoir both captivating and tender... Wu writes with unsparing honesty... bursting with revelation and reckoning." —Rajpreet Heir, The New York Times Book Review
"Illuminating... enthralling... her willingness to not just address her faults but grapple with them makes Wu’s memoir all the richer. Throw in her talent for vivid scene setting, plus an understanding that reflections are nothing without introspection, and the ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ star delivers a page-turner that amounts to much more than its headline-grabbing revelations." —The Washington Post
"A portrait of a young woman's life and of a young artist, struggling to find her way... poignant... frank and intimate." —The New York Times
"Candid and relatable... Her voice is forthright and clear." —Time
"A frank, powerful story told with a strong voice—but would you expect any less from a performer as bold as Wu?" —Town & Country
“So captivatingly immediate. It has something to say about both the inner life of an artist and the perils of public attention that I’ve never seen expressed before, and it’s adorably funny.” —Lena Dunham, The Skimm
“Wu wisely aligns poignant childhood anecdotes with new adult lessons… Generously sharing experiences of love, family, harassment, discrimination, and growth, Wu writes about others and her past self with the utmost respect. Her memoir is a gorgeously relatable portrait of a life guided by passion and art.” —Booklist, *starred review*
“Constance Wu writes with originality, ferocity, and unsparing honesty that doesn't let anyone — especially herself — off the hook. Making A Scene is as much about acting as it is about heartbreak, forgiveness, and being messily human. It made me laugh and it made my heart hurt; it reminded me of how necessary — and life giving — art is. This is a vital book by a singular talent.” —Rachel Khong, author of Goodbye, Vitamin
“There were times when I was reading Making a Scene that I didn’t realize I was holding my breath; it’s that riveting and personal. Making a Scene is a treasure and so is Constance Wu. I feel so lucky to call this talented and hilarious woman my friend.” —Mindy Kaling
"Constance Wu is a beautiful writer, a hilarious storyteller, and unafraid to tell the truth about her experiences." —Amy Schumer
"One of the most captivating and honest books I’ve read in years. Constance’s sharp and gorgeously observed ability to speak her truth, unforgivingly and often hilariously, gave me goosebumps, tears, gasps, and belly laughs." —Awkwafina