Afterparties: Stories (Compact Disc)

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Afterparties: Stories By Anthony Veasna So, Jason Sean (Read by) Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Here I was! Living in a district that echoed a dead San Francisco. Gay, Cambodian, and not even twenty-six, carrying in my body the aftermath of war, genocide, colonialism. And yet, my task was to teach kids a decade younger, existing across an oceanic difference, what it meant to be human. How absurd, I admitted. How fucking hilarious. I was actually excited.

In Afterparties, Anthony Veasna So writes of the shared culture, history, and place that make up his community, while brilliantly and often irreverently exposing the inherited trauma of genocide, and of race in America. Witty, generous, and chaotic (in the best way), So’s posthumously published collection, full of affection and frustration, is a comedic and unsparing tribute to his queer and Cambodian-American family. Matty recommends!

— Matt

August 2021 Indie Next List

“These stories of the members of a compact Cambodian-American community, from the refugees to the business owners to the gay teenagers, seamlessly balance humor with hardships.”
— Sofia Silva Wright, Phoenix Books Burlington, Burlington, VT


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 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.

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).

Product Details
ISBN: 9781665100403
ISBN-10: 1665100400
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: August 3rd, 2021
Language: English