A beloved Asian-American-owned bookstore in Manhattan’s Chinatown has reopened, months after a hearth destroyed the small unbiased retailer final summer time.
On July 4, a residential unit above the bookstore caught hearth, killing one of the building’s residents. The ensuing smoke and water harm additionally destroyed Yu & Me Books, destroying virtually all of its stock and gear a GoFundMe campaign store owner Lucy Yu has set up get better prices.
The unbiased bookstore reopened to a big crowd on Sunday, as native authors, fellow booksellers and prospects from throughout New York Metropolis got here out to have a good time the occasion.
“We’re so excited to welcome you all again to our Yu & Me Books house,” the shop introduced in a publish on Instagram. “We won’t wait to shed tears, snicker out loud and open our hearts with all of you who made us really feel at house.”
Since opening in 2021, Yu & Me Books has been a secure haven for Asian Individuals amid a surge in hate crimes through the pandemic. Yu advised NBC Information in October 2021 that the shop got here from a lifelong dream to open a bookstore that highlighted the tales of immigrants, particularly from the Asian diaspora.
“I wish to take inventory of all these voices at a time when it seems like our lives are at risk,” Yu mentioned. “I dreamed of a spot the place individuals who appear to be me can stroll in and suppose: ‘I see myself on the cabinets, I really feel seen right here.'”
Beneath the top donors to the shop’s GoFundMe have been actor Simu Liu, recognized for his function in “Shang-Chi,” and New York Instances bestselling creator Celeste Ng. As of Monday, the fundraising marketing campaign had raised greater than $369,000 – greater than double its authentic aim.
Whereas the unique bookstore was repaired and renovated, the enterprise continued to function in an area on The Market Line, an underground market on the Decrease East Aspect, the corporate mentioned. Instagram.
Yu & Me Books didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The newly opened bookstore, described as New York Metropolis’s first female-owned Asian American bookstore, seems to be a bit of completely different however shares the identical mission of delivering the lesser-heard tales of authors of coloration. Within the new model, it can proceed to host creator visits, artist pop-ups and neighborhood studying occasions.
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