We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

The Astonishing Color of After

A Time Magazine 100 Best YA Books of All Time Selection

A stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love, and family, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng.

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

"Emily X.R. Pan's brilliantly crafted, harrowing first novel portrays the vast spectrum of love and grief with heart-wrenching beauty and candor. This is a very special book."– John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down

ebook / ISBN-13: 9780316464000

Regular Price $8.99

Regular Price $11.99 CAD

Also Available From:

Buy Now:

About the Author

NOVL - Headshot photo of Emily X.R. Pan

Emily X.R. Pan currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, but was originally born in the Midwestern United States to immigrant parents from Taiwan. She received her MFA in fiction from the NYU Creative Writing Program, where she was a Goldwater Fellow. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Bodega Magazine, and a 2017 Artist-in-Residence at Djerassi. She is the author of The Astonishing Color of After and An Arrow to the Moon. Visit Emily online at exrpan.com, and find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Peek the Audiobook

From NOVL Nation

“I loved these characters. They didn’t feel shallow or flat at all. They felt real and that’s so important for me in any work of fiction. They weren’t perfect. They had flaws, they made mistakes but they were beautiful for that very reason.”

—Emmi, Emmi Rose Reads

“This story was so beautiful and is truly perfect as it paints a life of grief, complicated family relationships, and the secrets we hide, even from those we love and trust.”

—Kathleen, Read Forever More

“I have many family members who don’t know English, and I can understand how difficult it can be to have that language barrier, even though you want to try so hard to communicate with them. I loved having that connection with Leigh, it made the book feel personal to me.”

—Naheid, Absolutely Peach Reviews

“If you’re looking for a wonderfully diverse novel with fantastic Chinese-American representation as well as artistic writing, be sure to check this one out.”

—Alice, Arctic Books