Required Reading: 5 New Releases by Filipino Authors
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We’re highlighting the latest literary releases from a global community of Pinoy writers with the encompassing theme of the Filipino immigrant experience and identity. Here are titles to add to your ever-growing to-read list.
Trick Mirrors: Reflections on Self-Delusion
The New Yorker staff writer—fondly referred to as the Susan Sontag of this millennial generation—explores our interconnectedness in a series of essays in Trick Mirrors: Reflections on Self-Delusion. The lucid collection is an inward analysis of the self as she explores the various cultural prisms that have shaped her.
America Is in the Heart (Penguin Classics)
The 1946 classic gets republished by Penguin Classics in celebration of Asian-American Heritage Month—the fifth book by a Filipino to join the esteemed publishing house. First published in New York in 1946, it was later republished by University of Washington Press.
In pursuit of his American dream, socialist writer and labor organizer, Carlos Bulosan, reexamines the ideal and shares his immigrant experience in the era of the Great Depression. In the semi-autobiographical novel, the Pangasinan native narrates his harrowing experiences of racism, famine, poverty and systemic violence in post-WWII America, the “land of the free.”
I Was Their American Dream
Reminiscent of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, the coming-of-age graphic memoir is an illustrated account of her Filipino-Egyptian family’s ascent as part of thousands of immigrants coming to America in search of a better life. I Was Their American Dream illuminates earnest questions about identity and culture navigating “the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid.”
Patron Saints of Nothing
Randy Ribay tackles the heavy subject of the Philippine Drug War—from the perspective of a Filipino-American teenager—in the YA title Patron Saints of Nothing. 17-year-old Jay Reguero grapples with the untimely death of his cousin Jun back in Manila, a repercussion of President Duterte’s violent war on drugs. The compelling coming-of-age story reconciles grief, guilt and the immigrant identity. Read the full review here.
Moymoy Lulumboy: Ang Ugat at ang Propesiya
Segundo Matias, Jr.
Moymoy Lulumboy: Ang Ugat at ang Propesiya is the sixth installment of the bestselling fantasy series. The Young Adult title is a continuation of the boy aswang’s journey towards adolescence. Moymoy returns to bewitching Gabun to save his loved ones from evil forces. The author also recently released two more books by Lampara Publishing, Angelica: Ang Multo ng Balete Drive and Moñito: Ang Mabait na Demonyo.
What’s on your to-read list? Sound off in the comments below!
Art Alexandra Lara