Jenny Han, MFA Creative Writing ’05, saw massive success for her best-selling young-adult book trilogy about Lara Jean — an Asian-American high-school student whose dreamed-up love life becomes a reality when her secret, never-to-be-sent letters to boys she’s liked make it to their dedicatees — over the last several years.
The New School alum is seeing even greater success now that the leading book in the series, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, has been adapted to a critically acclaimed film on Netflix for which she served as executive producer.
In a recent op-ed piece in The New York Times, Han discussed the interest in turning the book into a movie among Hollywood producers and their reluctance to cast an Asian-American lead actress. Han stressed the importance of having greater representation among Asian-American actors.
“What would it have meant for me back then to see a girl who looked like me star in a movie? Not as the sidekick or romantic interest, but as the lead?” she wrote. “Not just once, but again and again? Everything. There is power in seeing a face that looks like yours do something, be someone. There is power in moving from the sidelines to the center.”
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before currently holds an approval rating of 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.