Watermark Books & Cafe is excited to welcome WSU grad and debut author, Soon Wiley, for an author event and signing on Thursday, May 5th at 6pm in the cafe. Soon will be joining us for the celebration of his debut novel, When We Fell Apart—A profoundly moving and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties that bind families together-or break them apart-as a young Korean American man's search for answers about his girlfriend's mysterious suicide becomes a soul-searching journey into his own bi-cultural identity.
"Min’s quest for a sense of belonging as an American in Korea is shattered when his girlfriend Yu-jin commits suicide. Yu-jin seemingly had it all –- loving and successful parents, fantastic grades, good job prospects –- until she didn't; it seems the exterior that Min saw was not so perfect. Dark and melancholic -- yet hopeful, somehow -- this novel blossoms in its exploration of queer relationships, belonging, and filial and societal expectations. It will grip you from beginning to end." Watermark Bookseller, Madison HH
About When We Fell Apart
When the Seoul police inform Min that his girlfriend Yu-jin has committed suicide, he’s sure it can’t be true. She was successful, ambitious, happy, just on the cusp of graduating from university and claiming the future she’d always dreamed of. Min, on the other hand, born to an American father and Korean mother, has never felt quite the same certainty as Yu-jin about his life’s path. After growing up in California, where he always felt “too Korean” to fit in, he’s moved to Seoul in the hope that exploring his Korean heritage will help him find a sense of purpose. And when he meets Yu-jin, little does he know that their carefree relationship will set off a chain of events with tragic consequences for them both.
Devastated by Yu-jin’s death, Min throws himself into finding out why she could have secretly wanted to die. Or did she? With a controlling and powerful government official father, and a fraught friendship with her alluring and destructive roommate So-ra, Yu-jin’s life was much more complex than she chose to reveal to Min. And the more he learns about her, the more he begins to doubt he ever really knew her at all. As Yu-jin’s story—a fraught exploration of selfhood, coming-of-age, and family expectations—collides with Min’s, the result is an engrossing page-turner that poses powerful, urgent questions about cultural identity, family bonds, secrets, and what it truly means to belong.
About Soon Wiley
A native of Nyack, New York, Soon Wiley received his BA in English & Philosophy from Connecticut College. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wichita State University. His writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and earned him fellowships in Wyoming and France. He resides in Connecticut with his wife and their two cats. When We Fell Apart is his debut novel.