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Anthony Veasna So (1992–2020)

Autor(a) de Afterparties: Stories

3+ Works 448 Membros 22 Críticas

About the Author

Anthony Veasna So was an American writer. He was born on February 20, 1992 and was raised in Stockton, California. He was a graduate of Stanford University, studying English literature, and earned his MFA in fiction at Syracuse University. He taught English and creative writing at Syracuse mostrar mais University. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, n+1, Granta, and ZYZZYVA. His debut story collection, Afterparties, is to be published on August 3, 2021. He died on December 8, 2020 in San Francisco at the age of 28. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: Anthony Veasna So photo courtesy Samantha Lamb

Obras por Anthony Veasna So

Afterparties: Stories (2021) 425 exemplares, 20 críticas
Songs on Endless Repeat: Essays and Outtakes (2023) 22 exemplares, 2 críticas

Associated Works

The Best American Essays 2022 (2022) — Contribuidor — 60 exemplares, 2 críticas


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Stockton, California, USA
Local de falecimento
San Francisco, California, USA
Causa da morte
drug overdose
Syracuse University (MFA - Creative Writing)
Stanford University
short-story writer



Anthony Veasna So was a rising star in AAPI literature. Unfortunately, his voice was silenced in Dec. 2020. His voice was important in so many ways, as an activist, a member of the lgbtqia community, a member of an immigrant family, and keeping the Cambodian war crimes memorialized in history. His essays talk about his life as a Cambodian American. He is caught between the culture of his immigrant parents and grandparents and American culture. This would be difficult for anyone, but as a gay man it is much harder. Other conflicts in his life didn't help either. He loved 2 men and couldn't decide between them. He had a problem with drug abuse, which ultimately led to his death. If you are interested in reading a diverse voice and about Cambodian culture, this book would not disappoint. It is sad that we will not hear anything more from him. His new book was published posthumously.… (mais)
tami317 | 19 outras críticas | Jul 11, 2024 |
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: 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).


My Review
: There are very few things I am more moved, saddened, and affected by than the early death of a promising artist. Basquiat, Heath Ledger, Anthony Veasna So, all dead from random bad luck. All gay guys (yeah, I said it about Legder, my gaydar goes DEFCON-5 every time I see him) who didn't get to finish their rough-edged bumptious growing processes. That is very much the feeling I had reading this collection of the gone-too-soon Author So's bits and bobs.

There's a kind of youthful arrogance, a judgment-passing superior smirk that shades into a sneer, in all the essays. It's to be expected, he was lionized early and often. He wasn't wrong, or wrong-headed; he was cocksure and unaware, in his youth, that being unsympathetic in your judgments doesn't make them stronger. In time perhaps that would've worn off, and he'd've reserved the sharpness of his eyes for more worthy opponents.

His fiction fragments in here point to an idea for a novel that could have turned into something interesting had he had time and some very good guidance. The fact is there was raw talent here, there was a Voice, and that loss is horrible. That it was down to self-destructive behaviors makes me think that the work we have now might have been all we ever got, living or dead. Many many addicted folk with powerful talents lose the war in themselves.

Not really recommended on its own; the reason to read it is that it feels like an act of mourning for what we all lost when he died of an overdose.
… (mais)
richardderus | 1 outra crítica | Jun 21, 2024 |
I was worried this would be filled with junk salvaged from Veasna So's desktop after his sudden death, but it turns out this writer is as good as I thought he was after reading Afterparties. A substantial percentage of this is pieces of what I assume would have been a novel or a series of linked short stories, and these fragments are nearly all very very good. I wanted to know so much more about the central characters, Darren, Vince and Molly, their families. I wanted more info on the specifics of their (maybe) inheritance from their cool aunt whom they loved, but also saw as nothing more than the money she would leave them and thus free them up from the need to actually work for their living rather just live in their self-indulgent bubbles.

There are a number of essays included here that were previously published (mostly in n+1) that are interesting though many are the work of someone who has not grown out of the belief that intellect and discernment are the most important, perhaps the only important, qualities. These essays remind one of how young Veasna So was, barely out of college, just a couple years older than my son who, like this author. is amazing but very much a work in progress. The review of Crazy Rich Asians, or the criticism of the "smart" reality television movement (think Queer Eye, Love on the Spectrum, etc.) or the observations on how one should read are pretentious and impatient, but in each of them there is some incredibly smart reflection and also in each of them there is some next level writing. I have little doubt that Veasna So would have continued to evolve and get better. His is a loss to literature as well as to those who loved him.

One high point for me: When I read Afterparties I kept thinking how similar the habits, behaviors and humor of the older Cambodians who had survived the genocide were to the Jews I knew who survived the pogroms and the holocaust. I mentioned that in my review I think. So I was gratified when Veasna So mentions in an essay here that Americans conflate all Asians, but that Cambodians are nothing like the Chinese, rather they are like Jews. It was great to feel like I really understood this author's intentions and messaging and it helped me see better the connection between me and other 1st and 2nd gen people who are the children and grandchildren of refugees.
… (mais)
Narshkite | 1 outra crítica | May 1, 2024 |
Compelling character sketches of individuals and a community. What a unique voice we've lost.
Kiramke | 19 outras críticas | Dec 5, 2023 |



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