The After by Carrianne K.Y. Leung

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70,000 words
Manuscript due January 2021


Canada: HarperCollins


Carrianne Leung
(Photo: Sarah Couture McPhail)

Carrianne Leung is a fiction writer and educator. Her first novel, The Wondrous Woo (Inanna Publications), was a finalist for the 2014 City of Toronto Book Award, and in 2018 That Time I Loved You, a collection of linked stories, won the Danuta Gleed Award for the best first story collection, and was also a finalist for the City of Toronto Book Award. She holds a PhD in Sociology and Equity Studies from OISE/University of Toronto. She lives in Toronto with her son.

The After

a novel by Carrianne K.Y. Leung


First came The Announcement: “…faster than anticipated destruction of ecosystems…tipping point…mass extinction….

Ten years later life, as humanity knew it, was over. With the collapse of everything, people had two choices to make: to live or “leave by choice,” which was a gentler way, a less terrible-sounding way of saying “suicide.” The world had broken down and now everyone was on their own. Or were they?

Just because it is the end of the world doesn’t mean that suddenly nothing is happening. Lovers, like Pauline, are still mourning for lost loved ones; teenagers such as Jason are still going through identity crises; and small, lonely girls like Jing find companionship by befriending crows. And who is the person who thinks they can prevent a raccoon from taking part in this story?

The end may have come for planet Earth, but in a small neighbourhood in the suburbs of Toronto, community members of both the human and animal variety work side-by-side to each other in order to survive.

The After is a novel replete with hope for a new beginning even in the face of despair. Carrianne Leung brings deft insight to humanity’s reaction to an approaching finale and shows what really matters to some in their last moments.



“In That Time I Loved You Carianne Leung introduces us to a multitude of intertwined, felt and feeling lives in a Scarborough suburb. Her short stories are crafted like houses, separated by chain link fence. We dedicate ourselves to knowing each character, their hidden, fully inhabited interior; only to glimpse them again later in vivid, green glimpses, painfully undone. Probing love, loneliness, social injustice and the wish to be revealed, her characters stammer and blurt, say the wholly unexpected, their lives tender and brave on the tips of their tongues.”

“This compact gem of a collection of linked short stories…dazzles with its subtly…befriends its reader in the dead of night…[and] leaves a lasting impression and a new way of understanding people and the world.” —MARISSA STAPLEY in THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“As if channeled by Gladys Kravitz and Charlie’s Angels, Leung’s stories read like the juiciest verified gossip.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Written in the tradition of Alice Munro and Jhumpa Lahiri, Leung’s debut story collection marks the career of a writer to watch.” —starred KIRKUS review

“Crystalline prose, sharp storytelling, and pitch-perfect narration enhance Leung’s accessible and affecting depiction of how cruelty undermines and kindness fortifies people’s sense of community.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Leung, author of Toronto Book Award-finalist The Wondrous Woo (2014), walks readers through the matching split-levels of a Toronto suburb in her striking U.S. debut…. Readers peer through chain-link fences and discretely pulled curtains along with Leung’s vivid, quotable characters-and are reminded that life doesn’t happen between soap-opera episodes, cigarettes smoked at the kitchen sink, and trips to the mall, but during them.”— starred BOOKLIST review

“That Time I Loved You is heady, necessary writing from one of the most talented and socially engaged authors of our time. Read this, and you’ll encounter within those quiet streets with buzzing streetlamps their true madness and rare beauty.”
—DAVID CHARIANDY, author of Soucouyant and Brother

“Every portrait is eloquent and lingers in your mind.” —CANADIAN LIVING

That Time I Loved You is amazing, heart-breaking, probing, tender; apocalyptic, in the truest sense. With an activist’s compassion and a poet’s eye, Leung challenges everything we knew (or thought we knew) about the suburbs. Behind the facade of tidy houses, manicured lawns, and well-behaved dogs live characters imprisoned by sadness and despair, battling racism and social injustice, yet relentless in their pursuit of love. This is the best coming-of-age story I’ve read in a long time.”— YASUKO THANH, author of The Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains

“In That Time I Loved You, Carrianne Leung reveals a suburb on the cusp of change, families whose names are no longer Smith and Watson, but rather Chow and Da Silva. Leung illuminates with clear unassuming prose and much compassion, a neighbourhood that is complex, disturbing, funny, sad and very human.” —JUDY FONG BATES, author of Midnight at the Dragon Café and The Year of Finding Memory





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