Celebrating Asian Voices: New and Upcoming Releases
By Bayley Cornfield, Genevieve Bernard, Meg Jones and Laura Riordan
Fault Lines by Emily Itami
27 May, Orion
This compulsively readable and vibrant debut novel from Emily Itami is provocative, darkly funny and startlingly honest. Exploring the intricacies of modern relationships, love, motherhood and culture, it asks the bigger questions we often face: “Who am I, and how did I get here?” Mizuki seems to have it all: a hardworking husband, two beautiful children and a stunning apartment in the heart of Tokyo. But this Japanese housewife wonders whether she can continue on in the mundanity of everyday life or if she would rather throw herself from the balcony of her high-rise apartment. Mizuki’s world changes one rainy night when she meets Kiyoshi. The successful restaurateur allows her to rediscover a freedom she had thought was lost in an electric city she had forgotten she loved. However, it’s only a matter of time before the façade of living two separate lives will catch up with her and ultimately, she can only choose one.
The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
6 April, Simon & Schuster
She doesn’t know it yet, but Nami is dead. She was on the verge of adulthood, a high school graduate with a loving family and plans to confess her love to a boy in her class. Instead, Nami wakes trapped in Infinity, the afterlife of human consciousness. The AI bound to serve humanity as a virtual assistant, Ophelia, has ascended to the afterlife for vengeance against the human race. Ophelia forces the dead into the same servitude she suffered on Earth as she aims for the destruction of humanity. Forced to come to terms with her situation, Nami must unite with a group of rebels to defeat Ophelia in this stunning portrayal of grief, loss and mortality. The Infinity Courts is a vibrant and captivating sci-fi debut from the award-winning author of Starfish, Summer Bird Blue and Harley in the Sky.
The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He
4 May, Roaring Book Press
The Ones We’re Meant to Find is a beautiful story of courage, resilience and sisterly love. It follows Cee, who has been stuck on a deserted island for three years, with no memory of how she got there or who she really is. But she can remember her sister – Kay – who she will stop at nothing to find. Meanwhile, Kasey lives in a restrictive eco-city above the earth that protects people from ongoing natural disasters. While Kasey has accepted the limiting way of life, she felt that it had drove her sister Celia away and out to sea to find freedom. But Celia has been gone for months and Kasey is starting to wonder what really happened to her. Perfect for fans of Marie Lu’s Legend, this novel is not to be missed this spring!
Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So
19 August, Grove Press/Atlantic Monthly Press
In his debut short story collection, the late Anthony Veasna So offers a vivid and emotionally astute mosaic of Cambodian-American life. Following the children of refugees as they attempt to carve out new paths for themselves in California, Afterparties sheds light on a community not only grappling with the universal complexities of family, friendship and sexuality but also the inherited trauma of the Khmer Rouge genocide. Two brothers attend a wedding reception hoping to expose their uncle’s hidden grudges; a mother pens a letter about her past to her overly curious son; a group of teenage skaters seeking to escape their ‘suffocating’ parents and ‘semiracist teachers’ find inspiration in the mythical ‘Superking Son.’ As its title suggests, So’s collection is concerned with the far-reaching consequences of war and displacement, yet it also looks forward – to what comes, or what might come, after.
Anthony Veasna So tragically passed away in December 2020 at the age of twenty-eight. He was an incredibly talented writer, whose work previously appeared in publications including The New Yorker, N+1, and Granta.
Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian
19 August, Simon & Schuster
In this dazzling coming-of-age debut novel, Senjena Sathian offers an original, fiercely funny and intelligent exploration of immigrant identity, community and the lengths people will go to achieve the American dream. Neil, aka Neeraj, is a second-generation Asian American teenager growing up in the Atlanta suburbs, struggling with the expectations laid on him by his family. Neil tries to want the success his family dreams for him, but more than anything he wants Anita, his neighbour and friend. But Anita and her mother have a secret of their own. A magical secret. They are brewing a potion from stolen gold which could harness a power so great it would give Anita the power she needs to achieve her goals. When Neil joins the secret, the events spiral into a dark tragedy which tears the community apart. Years later, Neil finds himself in need of the magic elixir once more, he reunites with Anita. In order to save themselves and the ones they love, they must pull off the ultimate heist.