• Joan Is Okay

  • A Novel
  • By: Weike Wang
  • Narrated by: Catherine Ho
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (223 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.50

Buy for $24.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

New York Times Editors' Choice

A witty, moving, piercingly insightful new novel about a marvelously complicated woman who can’t be anyone but herself, from the award-winning author of Chemistry.

“A deeply felt portrait.... With gimlet-eyed observation laced with darkly biting wit, Weike Wang masterfully probes the existential uncertainty of being other in America.” (Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere)

Joan is a 30-something ICU doctor at a busy New York City hospital. The daughter of Chinese parents who came to the United States to secure the American dream for their children, Joan is intensely devoted to her work, happily solitary, successful. She does look up sometimes and wonder where her true roots lie: at the hospital, where her white coat makes her feel needed, or with her family, who try to shape her life by their own cultural and social expectations. 

Once Joan and her brother, Fang, were established in their careers, her parents moved back to China, hoping to spend the rest of their lives in their homeland. But when Joan’s father suddenly dies and her mother returns to America to reconnect with her children, a series of events sends Joan spiraling out of her comfort zone just as her hospital, her city, and the world are forced to reckon with a health crisis more devastating than anyone could have imagined. 

Deceptively spare yet quietly powerful, laced with sharp humor, Joan Is Okay touches on matters that feel deeply resonant: being Chinese American right now; working in medicine at a high-stakes time; finding one’s voice within a dominant culture; being a woman in a male-dominated workplace; and staying independent within a tight-knit family. But above all, it’s a portrait of one remarkable woman so surprising that you can’t get her out of your head.

©2022 Weike Wang (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Downright hilarious, sometimes unintentionally, sometimes as a coping mechanism. Wang masterfully balances the many terrors of [the] provocative questions about motherhood, daughterhood, belonging and the many definitions of ‘home.’”The New York Times Book Review

“Incisive yet tender, written with elegant style and delicious verve. Joan isn’t just okay, she’s wonderful. I could listen to her smart, witty voice forever.”—Sigrid Nunez

“Joan . . . is solitary, literal-minded and extremely awkward—all of which contribute to the hilarity of this novel.”The New York Times

What listeners say about Joan Is Okay

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    114
  • 4 Stars
    68
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    133
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    99
  • 4 Stars
    58
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

At first I didn't think I would enjoy this book because I'd read other novels that were written as monologs and didn't find them interesting because there wasn't really a story. But I loved this book because her point of view was so clearly described. It was like peeking into her brain. And I enjoyed her personality and perspectives. The narration was spot on, too.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Story!

I love the refreshing views through the characters and the cultural viewpoint. An important read!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Quirky funny

I liked this book. Main character is quirky but funny. Story has multiple layers, some obvious and some not as much.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Pointless

Not sure why this story was written. Obviously, the author was attempting to explore the challenges of being a high-functioning Asian female in a male-dominated profession ( medicine), but that message seemed jumbled and, ultimately, preachy. I detest books that preach !

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

ok but not great

interesting, Asian family dynamics, neighbors, work, colleagues, however find it difficult to recommend....slow moving story

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Layered message

I enjoyed reading this book. There is so much to unpack here with all the layers of socio-cultural issues built into a seemingly simple story about a complex protagonist heading into the 2020 pandemic. There is the immigrant story, the Asian story, the being female story, the social class story, the education story, the New York story, and more. I’d read it again. I’d read this author some more!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Story

This book was amazing. it was funny and insightful!! Hopefully there will be another one soon.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pandemonium

It's been a long run. Our student from China went home April 2020. We still talk but I miss her. I thought about her a lot while listening.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books I've ever read

I'm a constant reader and I one as I was reading, this is one of my favorite books, ever. I'm going to re-read it very soon. Wang writes in a simple way, somehow capturing an enormous depth of character in Joan, the protagonist. Joan's family, workplace, and colleagues are also drawn in fantastic detail. Joan is a physician whose family immigrated from China, and issues around home and country are central. Joan is Okay is deep, sometimes sad, and also laugh-out-loud funny. Read it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An author to watch

I really enjoyed this intense but often funny character study. She may come across to others as stand-offish, but the author did a great job of getting you to see Joan's perspective. And she actually knew herself quite well.