Afterness: Literature From the New Transnational Asia (After-Party Press, 2016)

Jeanie Chung
Jan 30, 2017 · 8 min read
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Courtesy of After-Party Press ©2016

Afterness is both CityU MFA’s final act — it was funded by the university — and an effort by the alumni editors to gather in one place one of the things they loved about the program: the writing it produced.

The poems, stories, and essays depict characters who are trying to find their way, negotiating boundaries not just of countries, but between rural and urban settings, between life and death, between one another.

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Cover image courtesy of After-Party Press © 2016

Jenn Chan Lyman … described the program as a sanctuary for “the hybrid and the hyphenated, the chameleons and the nomads.”

Because many of the students are from Asia and all of them spent three weeks a year there as students, the volume is inextricably linked to Asia, beginning with the epigraph from Basho.

And of course, looming large over the book is the presence of Hong Kong, the island often caught between cultures and governments and historical eras, yet firmly pointed toward the future. Much of the work centers on the people who live, love, and especially work there.

Overall, Afterness proves to be a compelling glimpse of contemporary writing engaged with Asia — especially Hong Kong — and a broad sampling of emerging writers.

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