Sense of wonder.

by Salesses, Matthew,

Format: Print Book 2023
Availability: On Order 5 copies
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From the author of PEN/Faulkner finalist Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear and Craft in the Real World comes a searing masterwork on the ways Asian Americans navigate the thorny worlds of sports and entertainment when everything is stacked against them.

An Asian American basketball star walks into a gym. No one recognizes him, but everyone stares anyway. It is the start of a joke but what is the punchline? When Won Lee, the first Asian American in the NBA, stuns the world in a seven-game winning streak, the global media audience dubs it "The Wonder"--much to Won's chagrin. Meanwhile, Won struggles to get attention from his coach, his peers, his fans, and most importantly, his hero, Powerball!, who also happens to be Won's teammate and the captain. Covering it all is sportswriter Robert Sung, who writes about Won's stardom while grappling with his own missed hoops opportunities as well as his place as an Asian American in media. And to witness it all is Carrie Kang, a big studio producer, who juggles a newfound relationship with Won while attempting to bring K-drama to an industry not known to embrace anything new or different.

The Sense of Wonder follows Won and Carrie as they chronicle the human and professional tensions exacerbated by injustices and fight to be seen and heard on some of the world's largest stages. An incredibly funny and heart-rending dive into race and our "collective imagination that lays bare our limitations before blasting joyfully past them" (Catherine Chung). This is the work of a gifted storyteller at the top of his game.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Salesses' (Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, 2020) third work of fiction is a remarkable novel of love, obstacles, and possibilities. Won Lee has just joined the Knicks, making him the only Asian American player in the NBA. Sports journalist and Korean adoptee Robert Sung sees Won as the player he could have been if his career hadn't been derailed by an injury. Paul Burton, known as Powerball!, is Won's idol and the superstar of the Knicks. Sung is fixated on Powerball! and Powerball!'s wife, Brit, whom he has loved since high school. Meanwhile, Won's girlfriend, Carrie, is trying to produce her own Korean drama about a basketball star and the sports journalist who ruins his career. When an injury puts Powerball! on the bench, Won leads the team in a winning streak that the media dubs "The Wonder." However, despite his talents, Won becomes a pawn in the feud between Sung and Powerball! over Brit. Told from Won's and Carrie's perspectives, and interspersed with sections from Carrie's K-dramas, The Sense of Wonder explores multiple Korean American experiences through vivid, unforgettable characters."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Novelist and critic Salesses (Craft in the Real World) offers a brilliant and scathing chronicle of two Asian Americans as they try to find their place in contemporary sports and media. As the first Asian American in the NBA, Korean American Won Lee is poised to become a star after he steps in for his injured Knicks teammate Paul Burton (nicknamed "Powerball!"), his winning streak earning him the nickname "the Wonder." But he's also confronted by casual and at times cutting racism from teammates, coaches, and fans, as well as professional jealousy from an ESPN reporter, Robert Sung, who played high school ball with Powerball! and used to imagine himself in Won's shoes. Meanwhile, Won's girlfriend, Carrie, is fighting an uphill battle in her efforts to bring Korean television dramas to an American market. Using language that is hilarious, caustic, and poignant, Salesses effectively interrogates whether and how Asians can contribute to American celebrity culture without meeting the same old racism in return. Robert's profile of Won, for instance, ends up with a reference to China in the headline, and when Carrie risks pitching a K-drama with American characters, an executive asks if she can "hear how that sounds like you don't know what you're doing." Incorporating both Won and Carrie's perspectives while also weaving in plots and scripts from K-dramas, Salesses fills the page with all the bold, kinetic confidence of an athlete striding onto the court. Agent: Ayesha Pande, Ayesha Pande Literary. (Jan.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects ordreq 11/21/2022 xa
Publisher Little, Brown and Company,2023
Description p. cm.
ISBN 9780316425711
Other Classic View