by Kawika Guillermo
Winner of the 2020 Association for Asian American Studies Book Award in Prose
Award-Winning Finalist in the Fiction: Literary category of the 2019 Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest
Exasperated by the small-minded tyranny of his hometown, Skyler Faralan travels to Southeast Asia with $500 and a death wish. After months of wandering, he crosses paths with other dejected travelers: Sophea, a short-fused NGO worker; Arthur, a brazen expat abandoned by his wife and son; and Winston, a defiant intellectual exile. Bound by pleasure-fueled self-destruction, the group flounders from one Asian city to another, confronting the mixture of grief, betrayal, and discrimination that caused them to travel in the first place.
“Guillermo tells the stories of American expatriates seeking to lose or remake themselves in the far-flung corners of Asia. His narrative voice—steady, visual, and evocative—is complemented by his keen ear for dialogue.”
—Peter Bacho, author of Cebu and winner of the American Book Award
“Guillermo’s novel teaches the reader how to engage the world and reveals the very best about being a traveler rather than a tourist. We follow not only a vivid visual adventure across Asia, but also a linguistic journey into understanding new language and a definition of ‘we’ that is inclusive and empowering and revealing.”
—Shawn Hsu Wong, author of Homebase and American Knees
Kawika Guillermo moves and writes throughout Asia and North America, usually embarking from his station in Hong Kong. This is his first novel.