Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America

Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America

by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 4.22
  • Pages: 254
  • Publish Date: March 1st 1998 by Anvil Pub Inc
  • Isbn10: 9712707016
  • Isbn13: 9789712707018

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BOOK REVIEW CONTEMPORARY FICTION BY FILIPINOS IN AMERICA Edited by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard Anvil Publishing, 1997, 254 pages MANOA, Vol. 13, No., 1, Silence to Light: Japan and the Shadows of War (Summer, 2001) pp. 201-203 by Harold Augenbraum Contemporary F iction by Filipinos in America.Edited by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard. In the United States, the Philippines has always been esteemed for its strategic importance while Filipino culture has been almost invisible.The truth is that the Philippines has a rich literary heritage, extending from the archipelago to the various other countries in which Filipinos have settled, including former colonial masters Spain and the United States.The writers who have made a name for themselves in the States-Carlos Bulosan, Bienvenido Santos, Linda Ty-Casper, Ninotchka Rosca, perhaps N ick Carbo, and certainly JessicaH agedorn - are few, though their writing is powerful and consistently good. The anthologies of Filipino and Filipino American writing published in the States have also appeared infrequently. F rancia's next contribution was 1996's Flippin' Filipinos on America, which he and Eric Gamalinda edited for the Asian American Writers' Workshop, based in New York. Cecilia Manguerra Brainard's 1993 anthology, F iction by Filipinos in America, was a low-budget collection published by New Day Publishers in Quezon City, Philippines. For it she collected a good cross-section of Filipino writers, from the little known to the more accomplished, producing a good introduction to Filipino writing in America.Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, also published in the Philippines, covers some of the same grounds even of the twenty-five contributors were included in the earlier collection, though it is comforting to see Gonzalez and Ty-Casper again. Yet except for the hints of this situation in Gonzalez's story "Confessions of a Dawn P erson," and the migrant background in Alma Jill Dizon's promising "Bride," the stories in Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America focus little, if at all, on the history of the Filipino experience in the Philippines. Even in Brainard'cs ontribution, " Flip Gothic," in which an uncontrollable young woman on the verge of adulthood is sent by her family in the States to live with her grandmother in Manila, the national culture of the Philippines is subjugated to the household culture, and the homeland is affective, but amorphous. By pulling these personal, fictional quests together, the reader indeed comes away with a varied portrait of Filipinos in America, not the expression of dark causality present in the earlier generations of writers, such as Bulosan and Santos- those fantastic conjurors of Filipino America n literature - but of people cautiously settling into what they hope will be a comfortable position. The well-worn ground of the woman in a sanitarium is LindaT y-Casper's cenario in "Dark Star/Altered Seeds."F rom a lesser writer, the story might be stale, but Ty-Casper is so deft with language - a fact known to readers of literary magazines and the slim novels she has published with Readers International, Inc.

BOOK REVIEW CONTEMPORARY FICTION BY FILIPINOS IN AMERICA Edited by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard Anvil Publishing, 1997, 254 pages MANOA, Vol. 13, No., 1, Silence to Light: Japan and the Shadows of War (Summer, 2001) pp. 201-203 by Harold Augenbraum Contemporary F iction by Filipinos in America.Edited by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard. In the United States, the Philippines has always been esteemed for its strategic importance while Filipino culture has been almost invisible.The truth is that the Philippines has a rich literary heritage, extending from the archipelago to the various other countries in which Filipinos have settled, including former colonial masters Spain and the United States.The writers who have made a name for themselves in the States-Carlos Bulosan, Bienvenido Santos, Linda Ty-Casper, Ninotchka Rosca, perhaps N ick Carbo, and certainly JessicaH agedorn - are few, though their writing is powerful and consistently good. The anthologies of Filipino and Filipino American writing published in the States have also appeared infrequently. F rancia's next contribution was 1996's Flippin' Filipinos on America, which he and Eric Gamalinda edited for the Asian American Writers' Workshop, based in New York. Cecilia Manguerra Brainard's 1993 anthology, F iction by Filipinos in America, was a low-budget collection published by New Day Publishers in Quezon City, Philippines. For it she collected a good cross-section of Filipino writers, from the little known to the more accomplished, producing a good introduction to Filipino writing in America.Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, also published in the Philippines, covers some of the same grounds even of the twenty-five contributors were included in the earlier collection, though it is comforting to see Gonzalez and Ty-Casper again. Yet except for the hints of this situation in Gonzalez's story "Confessions of a Dawn P erson," and the migrant background in Alma Jill Dizon's promising "Bride," the stories in Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America focus little, if at all, on the history of the Filipino experience in the Philippines. Even in Brainard'cs ontribution, " Flip Gothic," in which an uncontrollable young woman on the verge of adulthood is sent by her family in the States to live with her grandmother in Manila, the national culture of the Philippines is subjugated to the household culture, and the homeland is affective, but amorphous. By pulling these personal, fictional quests together, the reader indeed comes away with a varied portrait of Filipinos in America, not the expression of dark causality present in the earlier generations of writers, such as Bulosan and Santos- those fantastic conjurors of Filipino America n literature - but of people cautiously settling into what they hope will be a comfortable position. The well-worn ground of the woman in a sanitarium is LindaT y-Casper's cenario in "Dark Star/Altered Seeds."F rom a lesser writer, the story might be stale, but Ty-Casper is so deft with language - a fact known to readers of literary magazines and the slim novels she has published with Readers International, Inc.

Featuring expatriate and celebrated Filipino-American writers such as Fatima Lim-Wilson, Linda Ty-Casper, Luis Cabalquinto, Paulino Lim Jr., (among many others) and edited by Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard, the stories within this collection tread on the nostalgic, the painful, and the longing for one's homeland.