Celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander authors this month by adding these fantastic fiction books to your reading list.
The Yoga of Max's Discontent
Bajaj, Karan, 1979- author.
"Max Pzoras is the poster child for the American Dream. The child of Greek immigrants who grew up in a dangerous New York housing project, he triumphed over his upbringing and became a successful Wall Street analyst. Yet on the frigid December night he's involved in a violent street scuffle, Max begins to confront questions about suffering and mortality that have dogged him since his mother's death. His search takes him to the farthest reaches of India, where he encounters a mysterious night market, almost freezes to death on a hike up the Himalayas, and finds himself in an ashram in a drought-stricken village in South India. By turns a gripping adventure story and a journey of tremendous inner transformation, The Yoga of Max's Discontent is a contemporary take on man's classic quest for transcendence."--
The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir
Bui, Thi, author, artist.
"Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves"--Publisher description.
We That Are Young
Taneja, Preti, author.
"A stunning debut novel, a modern-day King Lear set in contemporary India: the tale of a battle for power within a turbulent family, for status within a nation in a constant state of transformation, and for the love and respect of a father disappearing into dementia Jivan Singh, the bastard scion of the Devraj family returns to his New Delhi childhood home at the age of twenty-three after fifteen years in the United States. His arrival coincides with the unexpected resignation of the founder and aging patriarch of the Company--its simple name belying its vast holdings across industry and entertainment, and the family's national renown. On the same day, Sita, Devraj's youngest daughter, disappears--refusing to marry the man her father wants for her. Now, Radha and Gargi, Sita's older sisters, are given the Company--and a brutal struggle for power begins. Set against the backdrop of the anti-corruption riots that spread across India in 2011 and 2012, We That Are Young is brilliant in its fierce, incandescent storytelling and the energy of its prose. It tells a deeply insightful tale of India today, the pace of life in one of the world's fastest growing economies, the clash of youth and age, and the ever-present specter of death. But more than that, it is a novel about the human heart--and its inevitable breaking point"--
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches
Mandanna, Sangu, author.
A warm and uplifting novel about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a quirky new family--and a new love--changes the course of her life. As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don't mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she's used to being alone and she follows the rules... with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos "pretending" to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously. But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and... Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he's concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat. As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn't the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn't know she was looking for...
The School for Good Mothers
Chan, Jessamine, author.
Set in near-future America, The School for Good Mothers introduces readers to a government-run reform program where bad mothers are retrained using robot doll children with artificial intelligence. Protagonist Frida Liu, a 39-year-old Chinese-American single mother in Philadelphia, loses custody of her 18-month-old daughter, Harriet, after she leaves Harriet home alone for two hours on one very bad day. To regain custody, Frida must spend a year at a newly-created institution, where she practices parenting with bad mothers from all over the county. There, she learns to love an uncannily life-like toddler girl doll in order to demonstrate her maternal instincts and prove to her family court judge that she deserves a second chance. Frida is an outsider in every way: better educated, more affluent, and the only Asian. The mothers, whose transgressions range from benign to horrific, are under constant surveillance. If they don't pass all the school's tests, their parental rights will be terminated. Inspired by dystopian classics such as 1984, Never Let Me Go, and The Handmaid's Tale, the novel eviscerates the dominant American parenting culture, while highlighting the tragedy of state-sponsored family separation. Is there one right way to mother? Can a bad mother ever be redeemed? With warmth, heart, and dark humor, the novel tells a timeless story of a mother fighting to win back her child, and her struggle to hold onto her integrity while being indoctrinated
Lady Tan's Circle of Women
From a young age, Yunxian learns about women's illnesses, many of which relate to childbearing, alongside a young midwife-in-training, Meiling. The two girls find fast friendship and a mutual purpose--despite the prohibition that a doctor should never touch blood while a midwife comes in frequent contact with it--and they vow to be forever friends, sharing in each other's joys and struggles. No mud, no lotus , they tell themselves: from adversity beauty can bloom. But when Yunxian is sent into an arranged marriage, her mother-in-law forbids her from seeing Meiling and from helping the women and girls in the household. Yunxian is to act like a proper wife--embroider bound-foot slippers, pluck instruments, recite poetry, give birth to sons, and stay forever within the walls of the family compound, the Garden of Fragrant Delights.
A History of Burning
Oza, Janika, author.
"At the turn of the twentieth century, Pirbhai, a teenage boy looking for work, is taken from his village in India to labor on the East African Railway for the British. One day Pirbhai commits an act to ensure his survival that will haunt him forever and reverberate across his family's future for years to come. Pirbhai's children are born and raised under the jacaranda trees and searing sun of Kampala during the waning days of British colonial rule. As Uganda moves towards independence and military dictatorship, Pirbhai's granddaughters, Latika, Mayuri, and Kiya, are three sisters coming of age in a divided nation. As they each forge their own path for a future, they must carry the silence of the history they've inherited. In 1972, under Idi Amin's brutal regime and the South Asian expulsion, the family has no choice but to flee, and in the chaos, they leave something devastating behind. As Pirbhai's grandchildren, scattered across the world, find their way back to each other in exile in Toronto, a letter arrives that stokes the flames of the fire that haunts the family. It makes each generation question how far they are willing to go, and who they are willing to defy to secure their own place in the world. A History of Burning is an unforgettable tour de force, an intimate family saga of complicity and resistance, about the stories we share, the ones that remain unspoken, and the eternal search for home
Age of Vice
Kapoor, Deepti, author.
New Delhi, 3 a.m. A speeding Mercedes jumps the curb, and in the blink of an eye, five people are dead. It's a rich man's car, but when the dust settles there is no rich man at all, just a shell-shocked servant who cannot explain the strange series of events that led to this crime. Nor can he foresee the dark drama that is about to unfold. Deftly shifting through time and perspective in contemporary India, Age of Vice is an epic action-packed story propelled by the seductive wealth, startling corruption, and bloodthirsty violence of the Wadia family--loved by some, loathed by others, feared by all. In the shadow of lavish estates, extravagant parties, predatory business deals, and calculated political influence, three lives become dangerously intertwined: Ajay is the watchful servant, born into poverty, who rises through the family's ranks. Sunny is the playboy heir who dreams of outshining his father, whatever the cost. And Neda is the curious journalist caught between morality and desire. Against a sweeping plot fueled by loss, pleasure, greed, yearning, violence, and revenge, will these characters' connections become a path to escape, or a trigger of further destruction? Equal parts crime thriller and family sage, transporting readers from the dusty villages of Uttar Pradesh to the urban energy of New Delhi, Age of Vice is an intoxicating novel of gangsters and lovers, false friendships, forbidden romance, and the consequences of corruption.
Arsenic and Adobo
Manansala, Mia P., author.
The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes-one that might just be killer.... When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case. With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block..
Rushdie, Salman, author.
"In the wake of an insignificant battle between two long-forgotten kingdoms in fourteenth-century southern India, a nine-year-old girl has a divine encounter that will change the course of history. After witnessing the death of her mother, the grief-stricken Pampa Kampana becomes a vessel for the goddess Parvati, who begins to speak out of the girl's mouth. Granting her powers beyond Pampa Kampana's comprehension, the goddess tells her that she will be instrumental in the rise of a great city called Bisnaga--literally 'victory city'--the wonder of the world. Over the next two hundred and fifty years, Pampa Kampana's life becomes deeply interwoven with Bisnaga's, from its literal sowing out of a bag of magic seeds to its tragic ruination in the most human of ways: the hubris of those in power. Whispering Bisnaga and its citizens into existence, Pampa Kampana attempts to make good on the task that Parvati set for her: to give women equal agency in a patriarchal world. But all stories have a way of getting away from their creator, and Bisnaga is no exception. As years pass, rulers come and go, battles are won and lost, and allegiances shift, the very fabric of Bisnaga becomes an ever more complex tapestry--with Pampa Kampana at its center
Kuang, R. F.
Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena's a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. Who wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks. So when June witnesses Athena's death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena's just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I. So what if June edits Athena's novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song--complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn't this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That's what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree. But June can't get away from Athena's shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June's (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.
Our Best Intentions
Jain, Vibhuti, author.
Babur "Bobby" Singh, single parent and owner of fledging Uber business "Move with Bobby," remains ever hopeful about ascending the ladder of American success. He lives in an affluent suburb of New York with his daughter Angie, an introverted teenager who is uncomfortable in her own skin unless she's swimming. During summer break, Angie is walking home after training at the high school pool when she finds Henry McCleary, a classmate from a wealthy, prominent family, stabbed and bleeding on the football field. The police immediately focus their investigation on Chiara Thompkins, a runaway Black girl who disappears after the stabbing and--it's later discovered--wasn't properly enrolled in the public high school. The incident sends shock waves through the community and reveals jarring truths about the lengths to which families will go to protect themselves. As the town fractures, Angie must navigate conflicting narratives and wrestle with her own moral culpability. Meanwhile, Babur's painstaking efforts to shield Angie and protect his hard-earned efforts to assimilate overshadow his ability to see right from wrong.
Chen, Mike, author.
When Ian, a long-lost teenage relative, finds her, Louise Chao, punk rock vampire extraordinaire, feels a connection for the first time in ages, but when he discovers her true identity, he asks her for the ultimate favor--one that might change everything vampires know about life and death forever.
Jayatissa, Amanda, author.
"When Amaya is invited to Kaavi's over-the-top wedding in Sri Lanka, she is surprised and a little hurt to hear from her former best friend after so many years of radio silence. But when Amaya learns that the groom is her very own ex-boyfriend, she is consumed by a single thought: She must stop the wedding from happening, no matter the cost. But as the week of wedding celebrations begin and rumors about Amaya's past begin to swirl, she can't help but feel like she also has a target on her back. When Kaavigoes missing and is presumed dead, all evidence points to Amaya. However, nothing is as it seems as Jayatissa expertly unravels that each wedding guest has their own dark secret and agenda, and Amaya may not be the only one with a plan to keep the bridefrom getting her happily ever after.
Chong, Jinwoo, author.
Brandon experiences his reality unraveling when he begins losing chunks of time and finding himself in an apartment he doesn't recognize, and starts to suspect his new employers have discovered time travel and are covering up violent crimes.
Yu, Charles, 1976- author.
From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe comes a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play.
The Book of Everlasting Things
Malhotra, Aanchal, author.
A lush, sweeping debut novel in the vein of All the Light We Cannot See, about a Hindu perfumer and a Muslim calligrapher, who fall in love against the backdrop of Partition. On a January morning in 1938, Samir Vij first locks eyes with Firdaus Khan through the rows of perfume bottles in his family's ittar shop in Lahore. Over the years that follow, the perfumer's apprentice and calligrapher's apprentice fall in love with their ancient crafts and with each other, dreaming of the life they will one day share. But as the struggle for Indian independence gathers force, their beloved city is ravaged by Partition. Suddenly, they find themselves on opposite sides: Samir, a Hindu, becomes Indian and Firdaus, a Muslim, becomes Pakistani, their love now forbidden. Severed from one another, Samir and Firdaus make a series of fateful decisions that will change the course of their lives forever. As their paths spiral away from each other, they must each decide how much of the past they are willing to let go, and what it will cost them. Lush, sensuous, and deeply romantic, The Book of Everlasting Things is the story of two lovers and two nations, split apart by forces beyond their control, yet bound by love and memory. Filled with exquisite descriptions of perfume and calligraphy, spanning continents and generations, Aanchal Malhotra's debut novel is a feast for the senses and the heart
The Covenant of Water
Verghese, Abraham, 1955- author.
From the New York Times-bestselling author of Cutting for Stone comes a stunning and magisterial epic of love, faith, and medicine, set in Kerala, South India, following three generations of a family seeking the answers to a strange secret. The Covenant of Water is the long-awaited new novel by Abraham Verghese, the author of the major word-of-mouth bestseller Cutting for Stone, which has sold over 1.5 million copies in the United States alone and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years. Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India's Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning-and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a twelve-year-old girl from Kerala's long-existing Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. From this unforgettable new beginning, the young girl--and future matriarch, known as Big Ammachi--will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, her faith and love the only constants. A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. Imbued with humor, deep emotion, and the essence of life, it is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years
The Bandit Queens
Shroff, Parini, author.
A young Indian woman falsely rumored to have killed her husband finds a way to make her unfortunate reputation surprisingly useful--but complications arise when other village women seek her help offing their husbands--in this provocative, razor-sharp debut. "The Bandit Queens heralds a prodigious and sophisticated literary talent." Téa Obreht, New York Times bestselling author of Inland In the five years since her husband's disappearance, Geeta has become accustomed to a solitary life; you'd be surprised how difficult it is to make friends when your entire village believes you're a witch who murdered your husband. And since she can't convince anyone that she didn't murder him, she figures she might as well use her fearsome reputation to protect herself as a woman on her own. But when other women in the village decide that they, too, want to be "self-made" widows and rid themselves of their abusive husbands, Geeta's reputation becomes a double-edged sword--the very thing that's meant to keep her safe is now threatening everything she's built as she unwittingly becomes the go-to consultant for village husband-disposal. Unfortunately, Geeta finds that even the best-laid plans of would-be widows tend to go awry, and the women find themselves caught in a web of their own making--and long-estranged friendships will have to be re-formed if they hope to make it out of their mess alive. Acerbic, insightful, and full of dark humor, Parini Shroff's The Bandit Queens--with its unique combination of poignant social commentary and irreverence--is an absolutely unforgettable novel
Hakes, Jasmin Iolani, author.
Hi'i is proud to be a Naupaka, a family renowned for its contributions to hula and her hometown of Hilo, Hawaii, but there's a lot she doesn't understand. She's never met her legendary grandmother and her mother has never revealed the identity of her father. Worse, unspoken divides within her tight-knit community have started to grow, creating fractures whose origins are somehow entangled with her own family history. In hula, Hi'i sees a chance to live up to her name and solidify her place within her family legacy. But in order to win the next Miss Aloha Hula competition, she will have to turn her back on everything she had ever been taught, and maybe even lose the very thing she was fighting for. Told in part in the collective voice of a community fighting for its survival, Hula is a spellbinding debut that offers a rare glimpse into a forgotten kingdom that still exists in the heart of its people.
The Great Reclamation
Heng, Rachel, author.
A sweeping novel set in Singapore during the years leading up to its independence from British colonial powers, about one young boy from a rural fishing family and the love story that will shape his life and complicate the fate of his larger community.
Your Driver is Waiting
Guns, Priya, author.
In this spiky and hilarious 21st century reboot of the iconic film Taxi Driver, a ride share driver is barely holding it together on the hunt for love, dignity and a living wage . . . until she decides she's done waiting. Damani is tired. Her father just passed away and now she lives paycheck to paycheck in the basement of her parents' old house, caring for her mom, and driving for an app to (not even) pay the bills. Protests are all the rage--everybody's in solidarity with somebody-- and the city is roiling with them, but while she keeps hearing that they're fighting for change on behalf of people like her she's too broke to even afford to pay attention. And they're blocking the roads. That is, until she gives a ride to Jolene, and life opens up. Jolene seems like she could be the perfect girlfriend -- attentive, attractive, liberal -- and their chemistry is incredible. So maybe Damani can look past the one thing that's holding her back: She's never dated a white girl before. But Jolene's done the reading, she goes to every protest, and she says all the right things. Still, just as their romance intensifies, just as Damani is learning to trust, Jolene does something unforgivable, setting off an explosive chain of events. A wild ride brimming with dark comedy, piercing social commentary and propulsive writing, Your driver is waiting is a feverish take on our culture of modern alienation
The Fraud Squad
Zhao, Kyla, author.
Crazy Rich Asians meets The Devil Wears Prada in this millennial women's fiction novel by debut author Kyla Zhao about a working class woman who infiltrates Singapore's high society to fulfill her dreams, only to lose herself in the process. For as long as she can remember, Samantha Song has dreamed of having her own byline in a high-society magazine-and she'd do anything to get there. But the constant struggle to help her mom make ends meet and her low social status make her dream feel like a distant fantasy. Now, Sam finds herself working at a drab PR firm. The closest she'll get to that life is living vicariously through her socialite coworker, Anya Chen. Then she meets Timothy Kingston: the disillusioned son of one of Singapore's elite families, and Sam's one chance at infiltrating the high society world to which she desperately wants to belong. To Sam's surprise, Tim and Anya both agree to help her make a name for herself in Singapore's socialite scene. The borrowed designer clothes and plus-ones to every party and major event can only get her so far; the rest is on Sam, and she's determined to make an impression on the editor-in-chief of Singapore's leading high society magazine. But the deeper Sam wades into this fraud, the more she fears being exposed, forcing her to reconcile her pretense with who she really is before she loses it all
All This Could Be Different
Mathews, Sarah Thankam, author.
From an exhilarating new voice comes a dazzling debut novel about an Indian-American immigrant building a life for herself in the Midwest--a brilliant and utterly absorbing story of love, friendship, and precarity in 21st century America. Graduating into the trough of yet another American recession, Sneha is one of the fortunate ones. However mind-numbing the work, her entry-level consulting job is the key that unlocks every door: she can pick up the check for her growing circle of friends in Milwaukee, send money home to her parents in India, and dare to envision a stable future for herself. She even begins dating who she has long wanted--women--and soon develops a crush on Marina, a beautiful dancer who always seems just out of reach. But then, as quickly as it came together, Sneha's life begins to fall apart. Her job and apartment are both suddenly and maddeningly in jeopardy, and closely-guarded secrets and buried traumas resurface, sending her spiraling into shame and isolation. When a chance encounter with Marina ignites an electric romance, it looks like salvation--if only they can overcome the lie that threatens to undo the trust they've built. A novel of working lives, friendships, and self-discovery in flux, All This Could Be Different is a wry, intimate, and redemptive exploration of the freedom and fragility of youth, and what it means to devote oneself to others in search of a better world
Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers
Sutanto, Jesse Q., author.
Knives Out meets Kim's Convenience in this captivating mystery by Jesse Q. Sutanto, bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties. Vera Wong is a lonely little old lady--ah, lady of a certain age--who lives above her forgotten tea shop in the middle of San Francisco's Chinatown. Despite living alone, Vera is not needy, oh no. She likes nothing more than sipping on a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy detective work on the Internet about what her college-aged son is up to. Then one morning, Vera trudges downstairs to find a curious thing--a dead man in the middle of her tea shop. In his outstretched hand, a flash drive. Vera doesn't know what comes over her, but after calling the cops like any good citizen would, she sort of ... swipes the flash drive from the body and tucks it safely into the pocket of her apron. Why? Because Vera is sure she would do a better job than the police possibly could, because nobody sniffs out a wrongdoing quite like a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands. Vera knows the killer will be back for the flash drive; all she has to do is watch the increasing number of customers at her shop and figure out which one among them is the killer. What Vera does not expect is to form friendships with her customers and start to care for each and every one of them. As a protective mother hen, will she end up having to give one of her newfound chicks to the police?
Portrait of a Thief
Li, Grace D., author.
Ocean's Eleven" meets "The Farewell" in this lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums, about diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity. History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, of conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now. Will Chen plans to steal them back. A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes artist, the eldest son who has always been his parents' American Dream. But when a mysterious Chinese benefactor reaches out with an impossible -- and illegal -- job offer, Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago. His crew is every heist archetype one can imagUine -- or at least, the closest he can get. A con artist: Irene Chen, a public policy major at Duke who can talk her way out of anything. A thief: Daniel Liang, a pre-med student with steady hands just as capable of lockpicking as suturing. A getaway driver: Lily Wu, an engineering major who races cars in her free time. A hacker: Alex Huang, an MIT dropout turned Silicon Valley software engineer. Each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they've cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down. Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars -- and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they've dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted atUtempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.
Jessen, Lauren Kung, author.
Olivia Huang Christenson is excited-slash-terrified to be taking over her grandmother's matchmaking business. But when she learns that a new dating app has taken her Pó Po's traditional Chinese zodiac approach and made it about "animal attraction," her emotions skew more toward furious-slash-outraged. Especially when L.A.'s most-eligible bachelor Bennett O'Brien is behind the app that could destroy her family's legacy... Liv knows better than to fall for any guy, let alone an infuriatingly handsome one who believes that traditions are meant to be broken. As the two businesses go head to head, Bennett and Liv make a deal: they'll find a match for each other-and whoever falls in love loses. But Liv is dealing with someone who's already adept at stealing business ideas... so what's stopping him from stealing her heart, too?
So, Anthony Veasna, 1992-2020, author.
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.