The astonishing color of after

by Pan, Emily X. R.,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Unavailable 0 copies
A stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love, and family, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng.

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

"Emily X.R. Pan's brilliantly crafted, harrowing first novel portrays the vast spectrum of love and grief with heart-wrenching beauty and candor. This is a very special book."--John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Leigh shatters after her mother's suicide who wouldn't? but when a huge, beautiful red bird appears and calls her name in her mother's voice, she doesn't think she's hallucinating; she's sure the bird is actually her mother, and not some William Faulkner stream-of-consciousness metaphorical crap. When the bird brings Leigh a box of letters and photos from her mother's childhood in Taiwan, she convinces her white father to take her to Taipei to meet her mother's estranged parents for the first time. There she digs into her family's past, visiting her mother's favorite places and keeping an eye out for the bird, which grows ever more elusive the longer Leigh searches. In Leigh's strong, painterly voice and with evocative, fantastical elements, Pan movingly explores grief and loss, as well as Leigh's meaningful search for connection to her secretive mother and her exploration of the many facets of her identity. Particularly laudable is Pan's sensitive treatment of mental illness: Leigh learns many heartbreaking things about her mother's life, but those moments are never offered as explanations for suicide; rather, it's the result of her mother's lifelong struggle with severe, debilitating depression. Dynamic, brave Leigh emerges vividly in Pan's deft hand, and her enthralling journey through her grief glows with stunning warmth, strength, and resilience.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In the wake of her mother's suicide, 15-year-old Leigh travels from the U.S. to Taiwan, where she hopes to come to terms with the tragedy while getting to know the maternal grandparents she has never met. Convinced that her mother has been reincarnated as a great red bird and eager to understand what happened, Leigh looks for symbols and meaning in the world around her; a stack of incense sticks grants her visions that allow insight into her mother's past and family history. At the same time, flashbacks illuminate Leigh's complicated relationship with her best friend Axel, whom she kissed the day her mother died. Pan's emotionally charged debut is a compelling exploration of grief and the insidiousness of depression. Her narrator, an artist by nature, sees the world through a colorful, complicated lens, and the novel is steeped in its Taiwanese setting. The subtlety and ambiguity of the supernatural elements place this story in the realm of magical realism, full of ghosts and complex feelings and sending an undeniable message about the power of hope and inner strength. Ages 12-up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Suicide -- Fiction.
Grief -- Fiction.
Artists -- Fiction.
Racially mixed people -- Fiction.
Grandparents -- Fiction.
Secrets -- Fiction.
Supernatural -- Fiction.
Americans -- Taiwan -- Fiction.
Secrecy -- Fiction.
Paranormal fiction.
Taiwan -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :2019
Edition First paperback edition.
Language English
Notes Includes discussion guide.
Description 470 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN 9780316464017
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