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

Afterparties is a delightful slice-of-life collection of short stories through which readers are offered a look into the lives of Cambodian (and mostly queer) Americans. Each story is infused with humor and filled to the brim with enjoyable characters. While all are rewarding in their own right, my personal favorites were "Three Women of Chuck's Donuts" and "The Monks." In "Three Women," we spend a few nights working with a woman and her two middle-aged daughters at a 24/7 diner. A mysterious patron returns night after night and the girls become obsessed with finding out who he is. In "The Monks,” a young man explores both grief and sexuality at his local temple after his father dies. Anthony Veasna So wrote with such frank honesty that it is easy to relate to each emotion and scenario presented. Sadly, he passed away in 2020, making each story a little more precious and worth savoring.

— Mal

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