Lite Reads Selection: ‘Mani Pedi’ by Souvankham Thammavongsa

The Feminist Biblithoecary’s Lite Reads: Mani Pedi by Souvankham Thammavongsa, #AsianHeritageMonth #AAPIHeritageMonth

Welcome to The Feminist Bibliothecary’s Lite Reads, where we read a different short story every week, and then discuss it here and on social media. This is our 117th selection, chosen with Asian Heritage Month (Canada) and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (USA) in mind. This week’s Lite Reads selection is Mani Pedi by Souvankham Thammavongsa!

Mani Pedi by Souvankham Thammavongsa is a 2015 short story originally published in The Puritan. The story was longlisted for the Journey Prize and was later featured in her award-winning collection How To Pronounce Knife (2020). Mani Pedi is about a former boxer who takes up work in his sister’s nail salon.

Souvankham Thammavongsa (1978-) is a Canadian short story writer and poet. She was born in a Lao refugee camp in Thailand, and her family was sponsored to relocate to Canada when she was a baby. She has published four poetry collections at this time: Small Arguments (2003), Found (2007), Light (2013), and Cluster (2019). Thammavongsa’s short story collection How to Pronounce Knife was published in 2020. It included a number of short stories that had been previously published, including multiple award nominees. The collection earned her a Giller Prize. Other awards she has won include an O. Henry Award, a ReLit Award, and a Trillium Book Award. Thammavongsa is serving as a judge for the 2021 Griffin Poetry Prize.

You can read Mani Pedi by Souvankham Thammavongsa in full for free on the Puritan website. I am not aware of any free audio version of the story (and I apologise for any trouble this causes), but as it is featured in her collection How to Pronounce Knife, it can be heard as part of that collection’s audiobook.

Please feel free to leave a comment here, or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram. You can also join in on the discussion at Litsy by following @elizabethlk and the #litereads hashtag. You can find our full review on Saturday, May 22.

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