A Most Anticipated Book of 2023 from: LA Times * Boston Globe * The Millions * LitHub
By the New York Times bestselling author of the award-winning AFTERPARTIES comes a collection like none other: sharply funny, emotionally expansive essays and linked short fiction exploring family, queer desire, pop culture, and race
The late Anthony Veasna So’s debut story collection, Afterparties, was a landmark publication, hailed as a “bittersweet triumph for a fresh voice silenced too soon” (Fresh Air). And he was equally known for his comic, soulful essays, published in n+1, The New Yorker, and The Millions.
Songs on Endless Repeat gathers those essays together, along with previously unpublished fiction. Written with razor-sharp wit and an unflinching eye, the essays examine his youth in California, the lives of his refugee parents, his intimate friendships, loss, pop culture, and more. And in linked fiction following three Cambodian American cousins who stand to inherit their late aunt’s illegitimate loan-sharking business, So explores community, grief, and longing with inimitable humor and depth.
Following “one of the most exciting contributions to Asian American literature in recent years” (Vulture), Songs on Endless Repeat is an astonishing final expression by a writer of “extraordinary achievement and immense promise” (The New Yorker).
Anthony Veasna So (1992-2020) was a graduate of Stanford University and earned his MFA in fiction at Syracuse University. His New York Times-bestselling story collection Afterparties was long-listed for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and won both the Ferro Grumley Award for LGBTQ fiction and the NBCC John Leonard Prize for best first book. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, n+1, Granta, and ZYZZYVA. A native of Stockton, California, he taught at Colgate University, Syracuse University, and the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants in Oakland, California.
"This posthumous collection of stories and essays affirms [So's] versatility, secures his legacy, and bittersweetly reminds us of what could have been." — The Millions
"Anthony Veasna So’s talent for evoking the anxieties, longings, and memories of diasporic Cambodian Americans — on voluptuous display in his posthumously published short story collection “Afterparties” — is put to vivid use in this new collection of delicately hinged essays that address everything from “deep reality TV” to So’s stint as an art student." — Boston Globe
“It seems impossible to read these excerpts without wishing for more—from these characters, from this narrative, for this author. . . .Another posthumous publication from a writer who was only just discovering his brilliance.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Before his death in 2020 at 28, Cambodian American writer So was poised for greatness on a number of fronts: He was an irreverent writer about immigrant enclaves, queer life and the Bay Area’s nether reaches. [Songs on Endless Repeat]. . .demonstrate[s] he was also a stellar cultural critic in the making.” — LA Times