Books

Souvankham Thammavongsa recommends reading New Waves by Kevin Nguyen right now

Souvankham Thammavongsa is a poet and fiction writer whose latest book is How to Pronounce Knife.

CBC Books asked Canadian writers for the books to read during uncertain times

Souvankham Thammavongsa recommends New Waves by Kevin Nguyen. (One World, Sarah Bodri)

CBC Books reached out to Canadian writers for the books they recommend during uncertain times.

Souvankham Thammavongsa is a poet and fiction writer whose latest book is How to Pronounce Knife. The collection of stories navigates tragedy and humour in the lives of immigrants.

Thammavongsa recommends reading the novel New Waves by Kevin Nguyen.

"Kevin Nguyen's New Waves is spectacular. First, let's begin with the cover design by Zak Tebbal. It is gorgeous. The Yves Klein blue brings to mind the feeling of the ocean. When you take a closer look it is a row and column of the same thing: an office cubicle, with the usual bare furnishings of a desk and computer. A single image copied over and over until its singular and particular features are made less original.

The writing voice is that of a dear friend — it is intimate and smart and fun and knowing.

"I loved the simplicity and drama of the first sentence. The description of office colleagues, the things they say that stick to you and follow you home from work made me nod and laugh and say: 'Exactly.' The writing voice is that of a dear friend — it is intimate and smart and fun and knowing. The first chapter moves quickly and when you get to the turn in it, the turn takes your breath away. This whole book was a thrilling read."

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