UNITED STATES NEWS

Donations pour in for Asian American-owned NYC bookstore decimated by fire

Jul 7, 2023, 10:34 AM | Updated: 10:38 am

NEW YORK (AP) — An Asian American-owned bookstore in Manhattan’s Chinatown left gutted by a Fourth of July fire is getting flooded with support from the community, writers and celebrities.

Yu & Me Books surpassed its GoFundMe page goal of $150,000 and had generated over $250,000 as of Friday morning. “Shang-Chi” star Simu Liu and authors Celeste Ng and Min Jin Lee were among the donors.

The blaze started in a residential unit above the store on Tuesday, store owner Lucy Yu wrote on social media. The cause has not yet been determined.

The fire caused massive smoke and water damage to inventory, furniture and the building itself. The store will be closed indefinitely as repairs and renovations are likely to take a year, according to Yu.

Donations will go toward replacing equipment, paying staff, new furniture and other needs.

Described as New York City’s first female-owned Asian American bookstore, Yu & Me Books opened in December 2021. Yu wanted to have a place that showcased stories by immigrants and people of color.

It became a haven as anti-Asian hate crimes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic rose. The store regularly hosted author readings, open mic nights and other events.

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Donations pour in for Asian American-owned NYC bookstore decimated by fire