This is an interesting short story on the role of marriage in today s society Not long after gay marriage was legalised in the US, Jack Cho, a gay Korean American man attends his first gay wedding with his partner Caleb He enjoys it a lot than he expected to and starts to think that he might get married one day, although Caleb is not so keen Accepting an invitation to the wedding of an old college friend, Scott to an American Korean woman, Soon mi he finds it a very different sort of affair Although he hadn t seen Scott for some years, they had history together but at the wedding finds he is not the man he thought he knew He also is also made to confront the fact that in keeping with his parents emphasis on becoming American he has ignored his Korean heritage and knows little of the language or culture A thoughtful short story that fits in well with the overarching theme of this Inheritence collection of stories from about secrets, unspoken desires, and dangerous revelations between loved ones With thanks to Netgalley and for a digital copy to read 4 That someone might like you just for your ethnicity was its own violence Rich and famous people are never quite sure if others like them for themselves or just hope some of the glitz will rub off on them Jack is a gay Korean American, so his concerns are not only about looking Korean but also about being gay His white roommate in college had always been obsessed by Koreans, so he was never quite sure about Scott s feeling towards him Scott was Jack s white friend from college most likely to end up in a Korean wedding ceremony He had dated a series of Asian women for his entire life, as if auditioning them for a role, and most of them were Korean Jack and Scott have an unusual relationship and lose touch over the years These days, Jack s steady partner, Caleb, is white, and they are enough of a couple that they are invited to the wedding of a long term gay couple as soon as it is made legal in the US A good time is had by all What was a federal gay marriage like If this was any example, it involved a wedding with line dancing, a glitter cannon, Froz and cheeseburgers served at midnight, and then afterward, everyone got high around a campfire and wandered back to their rented cabins, mostly with the people they came with The second wedding is quite different, half Korean and half western, which has Jack questioning the invitation Is he making up the numbers If so, which Jack knows very little about Korean culture he looks Korean but was raised American so he s not sure how or where he fits This is a good read and a thoughtful piece about how we take things literally at face value when we see someone from a particular ethnic background It also touches on many of the issues in the gay community, and I enjoyed Jack and Caleb s affection and cautiousness around the fact that they are at weddings, when their own relationship isn t that longstanding yet.I believe this is going to be an interesting collection of stories, and I thank for putting them together and NetGalley for allowing me a preview copy. For Jack Cho, A Fortysomething Gay Man, Being Able To Marry Someone He Loves Is So Unfamiliar It S Terrifying Then A Wedding Invitation From A College Friend Brings About A Collision With Those Fears And His Own Secret HistoryJack And His New Boyfriend, Caleb, Are Attending The Wedding Of Jack S Estranged Straight Friend Scott No Sooner Do The Guests Start To Mingle Than Questions Arise About Relationships, Tradition, Jack S Feelings For The Groom, And What S At Stake As He Navigates Daunting Territory, Both New And Old In This Wry And Surprising Short Story, Award Winning Author Alexander Chee Extends An Invitation To The Party And Awakening Of A Lifetime Alexander Chee S The Weddings Is Part Of Inheritance, A Collection Of Five Stories About Secrets, Unspoken Desires, And Dangerous Revelations Between Loved Ones Each Piece Can Be Read Or Listened To In A Single Setting By Yourself, Behind Closed Doors, Or Shared With Someone You Trust The Weddings was the most engaging short story from the Inheritance series While it didn t make me feel things as strongly as The Lion s Den, I found this one to be the most enjoyable Jack and Caleb have been dating for a year when Jack gets a call from an old friend, Scott, who invites him to his wedding Jack remembers him as the guy who was obsessed with Asian culture he d say things like I feel Korean inside and he d only ever date Asian girls Jack had always had a crush on him, but Scott was straight Or so he thought Shortly after graduating, the two had a fling after which, Jack never heard from him again Until a few years later when he came across his old friend and they met for dinner where Scott claimed that Jack was the first and only man he d ever been with And now, years after that, he was inviting Jack to his wedding to a Korean American woman, Soon mi What I really liked about this book was the way Alexander Chee managed to put forth every complex emotion that Jack experiences at the wedding a slight hopefulness that Scott would still be in love with him guilt at feeling that way and the question that constantly nags him was Scott the person Jack thought he was Or had it all just been a charade Jack s regret at not being in touch with his Korean culture as much as he would have liked, is something, I m sure a lot of people can relate to It gave the book a realistic touch and brought the characters to life It s not the best story from the series but it s definitely one of the better ones and I really enjoyed it I d like to thank NetGalley, Original Stories and Alexander Chee for this ARC The Inheritance Series Can You Feel This The Lion s DenEverything My Mother Taught MeZenith Man The Weddings is the last to the Original Short Stories Inheritance Collection I have read Well, not my favourite of the five I still really enjoyed it The strength of this one is in the dynamics here between the characters at the weddings I found the relationships, speculation and secrets here with the characters quite interesting A few themes are explored here with the characters and an interesting as it all was I found a lot was said and not enough left to provoke deeper thoughts I received a copy from the publisher on NetGalley. Jack Cho and his boyfriend Caleb have recently returned from attending their first gay wedding, a wedding between two men who had been a couple for ten years, and were finally able to marry legally It was held in the Catskills, a woodsy, happy but casual affair Until recently, there had been no reason for Jack to even contemplate marriage, as a 42 year old gay man it had always been a closed avenue But this wedding, a union of a couple already emotionally bound one to another, seemed to stir feelings he hadn t realized he felt Add to that, a second invitation arrives and Jack is invited to attend the wedding of Scott and his soon to be bride, Soon mi It s been years, which brings back memories of their friendship and old feelings return Like the other stories in this Inheritance Collection this story slowly reveals the thoughts, fears and dreams of these people as they navigate the changes that come as the years pass by Pub Date 19 Dec 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by Original Stories and NetGalley A real treat by Alexander Chee, who wrote Queen of the Night a dazzling sensational novel The Weddings , captures all that is complicated and wonderful about being gay, about being straight, about weddings, and about secrets predicaments The Weddings , is part of the Inheritance collection 5 book series Sold by Digital Services The contributing authors to this series are Alice Hoffman, Julie Orringer, Anthony Marra, Jenifer Haigh, and Alexander Chee. The last story for me to read in this Inheritance Collection Let me say this has been a remarkable collection of short stories, all of them of great quality and truly memorable.The Weddings is about a gay couple who tackle the idea of getting married themselves at the same time as attending two weddings of their friends These two weddings are very different from each other and raise very different issues for both Jack and Caleb.I read this one while sitting at an airport waiting for a plane, and I was so engrossed in the story I only just managed to notice when my flight was called I thought the characters of Jack and Caleb were both delightful and I enjoyed spending time with them very much.A short but sweet read and I wish the author had given them a much longer book My thanks to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. Alexander Chee s short story looks at Jack Cho, a 42 year old Korean gay man, attending his first gay wedding in the Catskills with his partner, Caleb He has never considered the concept of marriage as one for him, but the wedding surprisingly has him not only seeing it as a viable option, but secretly hankering for it, only Caleb is not so keen His second wedding invitation is from an old college friend, Scott, a straight guy, obsessed with everything Korean, and now marrying his Korean girlfriend, Soon mi, both of them equity fund partners Jack has not seen Scott for quite some time, but the two have history that has ensured Scott has remained close to Jack s heart The wedding turns out to be a socially awkward and dismal affair, raising some uncomfortable issues, and encounters that raise questions about the past as Jack knew it and undermines all that he ever thought he knew about Scott.Chee provides a picture of how the introduction of gay marriage has led to the gay community approaching marriage much as the straight community does and of a Jack with a Korean heritage that is not accepted by American society and perceived as not Korean enough by elements of the American Korean community A terrific short story that I recommend highly Many thanks to Original Stories for an ARC. How do we measure the value of marriage What is the purpose of the marriage ceremony, and what should a wedding reflect Does the ceremony echo the vows of the couple, or does it mirror something else How has it changed and why has it changed Jack and Caleb have enthusiastically returned from their first gay wedding when Jack is invited to Scott s wedding Though he has not heard from Scott in years, his invitation to Scott and Soon mi s wedding causes old memories in Jack to resurface What is Jack hiding in his past Jack worries about attending Scott s wedding because of the past, but Jack s boyfriend Caleb ensures that everything will turn out fine When they attend the wedding, both Jack and Caleb are met with a surprisesJack wasn t used to weddings His friends were mostly people who didn t, wouldn t, or couldn t until this year marryThe layers shaped underneath the weddings were intricately scaled and finely calculated I really enjoyed the irony of relationships, purposeful characterizations, and cultural significance presented in this short story Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy Opinions are my own.
Alexander Chee is the best new novelist I ve seen in some time Edinburgh is moody, dramatic and pure Edmund White A complex, sophisticated, elegant investigation of trauma and desire like a white hot flame Joyce Hackett, in The Guardian A coming of age novel in the grand Romantic tradition, where passions run high, Cupid stalks Psyche, and love shares the dance floor with death A
- 49 pages
- The Weddings
- Alexander Chee
- 21 August 2018 Alexander Chee