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Atomweight: Book Launch

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Upstart & Crow Studio


Join us on Thursday, June 8 at 7 p.m. for a launch to celebrate the beautiful debut novel Atomweight, by Vancouver-based author Emi Sasagawa.

Startling and sensitive, this is a coming-of-age page-turner that takes place in both London, England and Vancouver B.C., and tells the story of a young woman coming to grips with her identity and sexuality in a rather unusual way: street fighting.

Tea and treats for this event are courtesy of the excellent small publisher, Tidewater Press. This event is free, but we ask that you please RSVP at the Eventbrite here as capacity is limited. Thank you!

About the book:

When 19-year-old Aki throws her first punch, the respectable ‘good girl’ discovers she’s a fighter.

Good girl, good student, good daughter: Aki has always done what her loving but demanding multiracial family expects. Far from her Vancouver home, she adjusts to life in London­—studies, friends and a relationship with a wealthy but closeted Asian woman. Life is demanding, but Aki is coping until a violent incident triggers an unexpected response in the young Japanese-Latina woman. She discovers that brutal bar-fighting relieves her stress and she begins a dangerous dual existence—obedient and accommodating by day and brawling by night.

This is a novel about the need to reconcile competing cultures, traditions and values that also explores issues of sexual identity and violence.

About the author:

Emi Sasagawa is a settler, immigrant and queer woman of colour, living and writing on the traditional, ancestral and stolen territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Selilwitulh Nations. In her writing, she explores identity and belonging through the lenses of mixedness, queerness, oppression and privilege. Emi is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University and is currently completing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

More about Upstart & Crow:

Located on Granville Island, Upstart & Crow is a literary arts studio for curious readers and creative storytellers alike. We are international in our outlook, and local in our sensibilities. We create opportunities to surface new talent and champion bold ideas through events, workshops, literary launches, unique partnerships — and yes, we also sell books.


The main studio of our shop is accessible for folks with mobility aids, though there is a small mezzanine with stairs that will not be accessible. All books are on the main floor. There is a washroom on the main floor available for attendees.


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