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Publisher's Summary

A sparkling bildungsroman about friendship and betrayal, art and race. In 1988, Eric Cho, an aspiring writer, arrives at Macalester College. On his first day he meets a beautiful fledgling painter, Jessica Tsai, and another would-be novelist, the larger-than-life Joshua Yoon. Brilliant, bawdy, generous, and manipulative, Joshua alters the course of their lives, rallying them together when they face an adolescent act of racism. As adults in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the three friends reunite as the 3AC, the Asian American Artists Collective - together negotiating the demands of art, love, commerce, and idealism until another racially tinged controversy hits the headlines, this time with far greater consequences. Long after the 3AC has disbanded, Eric reflects on these events as he tries to make sense of Joshua’s recent suicide. With wit, humor, and compassion, The Collective explores the dream of becoming an artist, and questions whether the reality is worth the sacrifice.

©2012 Don Lee (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Collective

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  • YJ
  • 02-17-21

Wonderful novel

Truly profound work. Posed deep questions about art and race in a manner more effective than most works I've read recently, questioning rather than asserting through differing views of major and minor characters. Thoughtful study of friendship, ambition, striving, and life. Incredibly real to my own experience. The performance was not bad overall but performer really should have practiced and executed the correct pronunciation of many non-English words (even city names) more thoroughly.

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Still Thinking About It

If you could sum up The Collective in three words, what would they be?

Smart, Thought Provoking, Engaging

What does Jeremy Arthur bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Great performance but I'm not so sure about some of the pronunciation.

Any additional comments?

You don't have to be an art lover to enjoy this book. The story follows three Asian American college friends for twenty years as they pursue careers in the arts, but it's really about their friendship and how they present themselves to each other and the world The characters are it's strong point, each is well developed and multidimensional.