From the author of Loathe at First Sight, a young Korean-American woman’s journey to finding a new career and new love means learning to embrace the awkward and unexpected in So We Meet Again. We spoke with author Suzanne Park about the inspiration for So We Meet Again, the importance of representation in audiobook narration, and more!
“A cinematic, charming heart-squeeze-of-a-book that has found its way to my Ultimate Comfort Reads shelf.”Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book and how this story took shape for you.
I have several female friends who work in finance, and over drinks one night they told me about some of the macro- and micro-aggressions they often faced in their Wall Street jobs. I left the restaurant that night knowing I needed to write about how the world of finance treats Asian women.
My protagonist Jessie Kim is a mix of all of those friends, plus other Asian female bankers I interviewed: she’s hard-working, determined, and underestimated. It didn’t take me long to fall into the right voice: Jess was someone I felt I knew well.
In two sentences or less, what’s something that might surprise Libro.fm listeners about your audiobook?
It meant a lot to me to have Asian-American talent for my audiobook, so the producers made sure we found the right fit for Jessie, the main character, with Jackie Chung. Representation matters!
Have you listened to your own audiobook? What struck you about the narration?
I’ve only heard excerpts, but the parts I’ve heard have been fantastic! I love the range Jackie has and she handles the comedic moments with expertly measured beats and timing. Amazing.
Are you an audiobook listener? What are some of your favorite audiobooks?
I love to listen to audiobooks in the car and while I’m multi-tasking around the house. The last two I listened to and enjoyed were nonfiction books (I have a business background so I like to nerd out sometimes!): Atomic Habits by James Clear and Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss & Tahl Raz. One of my favorite fiction audiobooks is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton, who was the perfect voice for this geek-erific novel.
What have independent bookstores and/or booksellers meant to you personally and professionally?
When I lived in Seattle, Elliot Bay Book Company (when it was located downtown) was an indie bookstore that I frequented regularly. I loved popping in there on a rainy weekend, grabbing a coffee from their cafe, and then spending hours looking at bookseller recommended reads. I always came home with a pile of books, many of which are still on my shelf today. There’s something magical about stepping into a bookstore and seeing books curated in a way that is thoughtful and thorough, with displays that don’t only celebrate splashy bestsellers.
I love bookseller “personally recommended” placards, they’re always so insightful and helpful, especially when you have 70 books you want to buy and you have to narrow it down to a reasonable number. Since I’ve become an author, I’ve met so many wonderful independent booksellers and bookstore owners who champion debuts and BIPOC authors…it’s such a wonderful community of people.