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Afterparties: Stories

by Anthony Veasna So

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4242060,596 (4.01)26
A Roxane Gay's Audacious Book Club Pick!Named a Best Book of Summer by: Wall Street Journal * Thrillist * Vogue * Lit Hub * Refinery29 * New York Observer * The Daily Beast * Time * BuzzFeed * Entertainment Weekly A vibrant story collection about Cambodian-American life--immersive and comic, yet unsparing--that offers profound insight into the intimacy of queer and immigrant communitiesSeamlessly transitioning between the absurd and the tenderhearted, balancing acerbic humor with sharp emotional depth, Afterparties offers an expansive portrait of the lives of Cambodian-Americans. As the children of refugees carve out radical new paths for themselves in California, they shoulder the inherited weight of the Khmer Rouge genocide and grapple with the complexities of race, sexuality, friendship, and family. A high school badminton coach and failing grocery store owner tries to relive his glory days by beating a rising star teenage player. Two drunken brothers attend a wedding afterparty and hatch a plan to expose their shady uncle's snubbing of the bride and groom. A queer love affair sparks between an older tech entrepreneur trying to launch a "safe space" app and a disillusioned young teacher obsessed with Moby-Dick. And in the sweeping final story, a nine-year-old child learns that his mother survived a racist school shooter. The stories in Afterparties, "powered by So's skill with the telling detail, are like beams of wry, affectionate light, falling from different directions on a complicated, struggling, beloved American community" (George Saunders)… (more)
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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Anthony Veasna So was a rising star in AAPI literature. Unfortunately, his voice was silenced in Dec. 2020. His voice was important in so many ways, as an activist, a member of the lgbtqia community, a member of an immigrant family, and keeping the Cambodian war crimes memorialized in history. His essays talk about his life as a Cambodian American. He is caught between the culture of his immigrant parents and grandparents and American culture. This would be difficult for anyone, but as a gay man it is much harder. Other conflicts in his life didn't help either. He loved 2 men and couldn't decide between them. He had a problem with drug abuse, which ultimately led to his death. If you are interested in reading a diverse voice and about Cambodian culture, this book would not disappoint. It is sad that we will not hear anything more from him. His new book was published posthumously. ( )
  tami317 | Jul 11, 2024 |
Compelling character sketches of individuals and a community. What a unique voice we've lost. ( )
  Kiramke | Dec 5, 2023 |
Read for Asian Readathon 2022, prompt: (1) Read a book written by an Asian author.

A great collection of short stories written about the Khmer diaspora in California! I especially appreciated the little nods the individual stories made to one another, it made for a well-connected and cohesive collection. You could tell a lot of thought went into the curation, which I greatly appreciate. ( )
  HannahRenea | Apr 25, 2023 |
these stories were wonderful! and sad and fun and full of such emotion. i enjoyed some stories more than others, but as a whole i thought this collection was very cohesive and i liked how the stories related to one another. these stories were funny and found myself being surprised by the themes throughout. from these stories i went on to google/learn about the Cambodian genocide which is something i wouldn't have learned if it wasn't for Anthony Veasna So ( )
  Ellen-Simon | Feb 8, 2023 |
After taking the time to process the shorts in this book, I have to say that I love the continuity of the stories, how they both follow and don't the previous ones. They tell a meandering story of Cambodian Americans, the children of refugees, and how they have to shoulder the burdens of the sacrifices that their parents and grandparents made in order to survive the genocide. It also asks the questions of how much should your family/race/community define your identity, and also why people should stay together.

Thought provoking and lovely. ( )
  zozopuff | Dec 19, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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A Roxane Gay's Audacious Book Club Pick!Named a Best Book of Summer by: Wall Street Journal * Thrillist * Vogue * Lit Hub * Refinery29 * New York Observer * The Daily Beast * Time * BuzzFeed * Entertainment Weekly A vibrant story collection about Cambodian-American life--immersive and comic, yet unsparing--that offers profound insight into the intimacy of queer and immigrant communitiesSeamlessly transitioning between the absurd and the tenderhearted, balancing acerbic humor with sharp emotional depth, Afterparties offers an expansive portrait of the lives of Cambodian-Americans. As the children of refugees carve out radical new paths for themselves in California, they shoulder the inherited weight of the Khmer Rouge genocide and grapple with the complexities of race, sexuality, friendship, and family. A high school badminton coach and failing grocery store owner tries to relive his glory days by beating a rising star teenage player. Two drunken brothers attend a wedding afterparty and hatch a plan to expose their shady uncle's snubbing of the bride and groom. A queer love affair sparks between an older tech entrepreneur trying to launch a "safe space" app and a disillusioned young teacher obsessed with Moby-Dick. And in the sweeping final story, a nine-year-old child learns that his mother survived a racist school shooter. The stories in Afterparties, "powered by So's skill with the telling detail, are like beams of wry, affectionate light, falling from different directions on a complicated, struggling, beloved American community" (George Saunders)

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A vibrant story collection about Cambodian-American life—immersive and comic, yet unsparing—that offers profound insight into the intimacy of queer and immigrant communities

Seamlessly transitioning between the absurd and the tenderhearted, balancing acerbic humor with sharp emotional depth, Afterparties offers an expansive portrait of the lives of Cambodian-Americans. As the children of refugees carve out radical new paths for themselves in California, they shoulder the inherited weight of the Khmer Rouge genocide and grapple with the complexities of race, sexuality, friendship, and family.

A high school badminton coach and failing grocery store owner tries to relive his glory days by beating a rising star teenage player. Two drunken brothers attend a wedding afterparty and hatch a plan to expose their shady uncle’s snubbing of the bride and groom. A queer love affair sparks between an older tech entrepreneur trying to launch a “safe space” app and a disillusioned young teacher obsessed with Moby-Dick. And in the sweeping final story, a nine-year-old child learns that his mother survived a racist school shooter.
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