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 who 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 of the team. 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 own 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 KDrama 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, fighting to be seen and heard on some of the world’s largest stages. An incredibly funny and heart rendering 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.
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