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Afterparties

by Anthony Veasna So

Afterparties by Anthony Veasna  So X
Afterparties by Anthony Veasna  So
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2021, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 7, 2022, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Butts
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The children of Cambodian immigrants to the United States contend with inherited trauma and existential dead ends.

Between 1975 and 1979, nearly a quarter of the population of Cambodia (close to two million people) was killed in the genocide orchestrated by the communist party Khmer Rouge under the leadership of party secretary Pol Pot. Around 158,000 Cambodians came to the United States as refugees from 1975-1994, with many settling in Long Beach or Stockton, California (see Beyond the Book). Anthony Veasna So's parents were two such refugees and So grew up in Stockton. The stories in his debut collection Afterparties read like compartments in the interior of the author's mind, these characters people he has known and been, loved and been loved by.

In "Three Women of Chuck's Donuts," a woman named Sothy ("she's never met a Chuck in her life; she simply thought the name American enough to draw customers") runs a donut shop, with her two young daughters — Kayley and Tevy — spending most...

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