“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.”


Just finished Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So. Short stories. Audio version.
This collection published after the untimely death of the author is a fine collection of stories, interconnected in some ways, describing the lives of Cambodian refugees who have migrated to America.
The people described here are nurses, restaurant owners, teachers, students, and people of all ages and it tells about how they handle their violent past under Pol Pot and how they have adapted to their lives in America.

The past looms large here and the emotional scars left to some of these people is brought to life in stories that are humorous, sad, sexual and frustrating as they deal with new life experiences yet never forget the customs and experiences left behind in their homeland.

Some stories are very strong. The last story is worth the entire collection. The story about the monks is humorous in many ways and the closeness of these people with their life connections shines through constantly.
The only word of warning I would give to the reader is that there are some very explicit sexual scenes in the book that might not be comfortable for everyone.
A very interesting collection, it is sad that we will not have the experience of reading more of this author and watch as he continues to develop his craft.
A fine collection. Recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 27th September 2021

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Richard Franco