Seamlessly transitioning between the absurd and the tenderhearted, balancing acerbic humor with sharp emotional depth, Anthony Veasna So’s debut collection 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. Dive into Anthony’s vibrant collection of stories centering Cambodian-American life alongside profound insights into the intimacy of queer and immigrant communities.
Cosmos Book Club and Asian American Writers’ Workshop have partnered together to host a celebration of Anthony’s life and the release of his book, Afterparties. Joining us will be Monica Sok and Danny Thanh Nguyen.
Anthony Veasna So (1992-2020) was a graduate of Stanford University and earned his MFA in fiction at Syracuse University. His writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in the New Yorker, The Paris Review n+1, Granta, and ZYZZYVA. Born and raised in Stockton, California, he lived in San Francisco. A native of Stockton, California, he taught at Colgate University, Syracuse University, and the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants in Oakland, California.
Monica Sok is the author of A Nail the Evening Hangs On (Copper Canyon Press, 2020). She has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Kundiman, MacDowell, National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, and others. Sok is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. Alongside Anthony Veasna So and Danny Thanh Nguyen, she taught poetry to Southeast Asian youths at the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants in Oakland, California. For more about Monica, visit http://www.monicasok.com/about.
Danny Thanh Nguyen (they/he/she equally) has published stories and personal essays in The Offing, The Journal, Gulf Coast, Foglifter, and elsewhere. They have been awarded fellowships and grants from Ragdale Foundation, Lambda Literary, Kundiman, and Djerassi Artist Program. Her column on BDSM/fetish culture appears in the international social network platform Recon and is translated into five languages. For more information about Danny, you can find them found across social media as @engrishlessons and visit https://www.lambdaliterary.org/faculty_and_fellows/danny-thanh-nguyen/.
Cosmos Book Club is a monthly gathering of self-identifying women of Asian descent to read, discuss, and support Asian diaspora literature by women & nonbinary authors. In 2021, we hosted K-Ming Chang and C. Pam Zhang. In 2020, we hosted authors Cathy Park Hong, Mary H.K. Choi, and Laila Lalami. In the past, we’ve hosted authors such as Jia Tolentino, Lisa Ko and Crystal Hana Kim at our book clubs before. Read about us in the New York Times and Guardian! Please sign up for our email newsletters for updates and to RSVP for future events!
Monica Sok and Danny Thanh Nguyen