Filipino Authors And Their Literary Works – For most of my life, books provided an instant escape whenever I wanted to travel to faraway places. However, the lack of representation on library and bookstore shelves left me feeling disconnected from stories with predominantly white characters and Western lived experiences. With the recent spate of Asian American/Pacific Islander hate crimes in the US and Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month on the horizon in May, I wanted to put together a reading list that not only highlights Asian literary excellence, but also amplifies the voices before all Filipino/x authors. The 16 books listed here are a return to roots, provide a sense of belonging to the marginalized and also help decolonize the mind. All featured Filipino authors reflect diverse experiences: they are immigrants, migrant workers, first/second/third generation, biracial, (former) illegal aliens, albino, and LGBTQIA+ identified, and many of these books are their literary debuts. A combination of personal stories, educational text, and creative writing, these works touch on themes of femininity, race, class, spirituality, privilege, beauty, and identity. Many of the suggested books are written primarily for a Filipino audience, but also deepen the understanding of Filipino culture and values among an unfamiliar audience. Special thanks to @pinaylit on Instagram for introducing me to many of these titles. From this large selection, you will see that not all immigrant stories are the same. Scroll through the entire list or click on the book title to jump to its synopsis:
Author Elaine Castillo presents the paradox of the American Dream through the family of the protagonist, Hero De Vera. As a new immigrant to the US who is taken in by her beloved uncle, Pol, his wife Paz, and her young cousin Roni, Hero must find a way to reconcile her painful past in order to move on with her life in America. Woven into this delicately crafted family saga are the untranslated words of Tagalog, Pangasinan and Ilocano, depicting all the hidden histories that live within each newcomer to the US. The title of this novel is based on one of the first Filipino-American classics,
Filipino Authors And Their Literary Works
Is a captivating, lyrical work of fiction presented in the form of nine short stories. In 2016, Mia Alvar put contemporary Filipino authors on the map with her first published work, giving voice to Filipino men and women in the diaspora. Her short stories of emigrants, wanderers, exiles, and expatriates around the world expertly differentiate the Filipino experience for each protagonist, while upholding the universal similarity of all Filipinos around the world and “in the country.” Stories about a migrant worker in Saudi Arabia, a sighting of the “White Lady” and a New York pharmacist smuggling medicine to his ailing father in Manila will evoke nostalgia in many Filipinos seeking a glimpse of home.
Fiction/poetry/literary Criticism Books By Filipino Authors, Hobbies & Toys, Books & Magazines, Fiction & Non Fiction On Carousell
The first installment of Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mysteries is layered with romance, comedy, murder, and all the Filipino food you could want in one easy, enjoyable read. This cozy mystery (ie, a mystery subgenre involving an amateur female detective) will have you tearing up as you try to solve this classic “whodunnnit” case with the heroine, Lila Macapagal, framed for the murder of her ex-boyfriend, a food critic, while trying to save her Tita Rosie’s restaurant since closing.
A dystopian novel about Golden Oaks, a luxury retreat located in New York’s posh Hudson Valley, with every amenity under the sun provided to its residents, including a hefty fee. For Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, the compromise of being a surrogate mother for nine months at Golden Oaks seems too good an opportunity to pass up. But life on the “Farm”, as Jane soon finds out, is less idyllic than it seems. A thought-provoking exploration of economic difference, motherhood and ethics.
Strong OB/GYN, Diana Gallagher-Cary, finds herself at a crossroads after a series of unfortunate events in her life. But when she discovers a box of letters her supposedly dead grandfather wrote to her grandmother in their youth, she heads to the Philippines to reconnect with her long-lost family members. Along the way, he struggles with his identity, his definition of family, while finding love in the most unlikely places.
One of the most celebrated Filipino authors in the US, Melissa de la Cruz, is back with a young adult story about high school student Jasmine de los Santos. Jasmine has lived up to all the expectations set by her hardworking Filipino parents and with a full college scholarship within reach, everything is perfect. But in the shocking light of her parents’ immigrant status expiring, life as Jasmine knows it comes to a screeching halt. With the threat of deportation looming over her head, Jasmine rebels to make time for the things she never experienced as a future-fixated adolescent.
Spanish Language In The Philippines
Set in World War II Philippines, the fictional Karangalan family huddles in their basement with their neighbors, comforting each other with stories of their homeland as war rages above them. These stories of family and community blend folklore, history, and magic, alluding to the mystical and comforting quality of storytelling as a means of survival and a tool to inspire hope in times of devastation and violence.
A heartfelt debut from NPR correspondent and cartoonist, Malaka Gharib, as she chronicles her complex upbringing as a Filipina-Egyptian growing up in the US. This coming-of-age story is an endearing part of a collection of modern immigrant stories, exploring common motifs of identity, culture and belonging, all through an illustrated, interactive story. I particularly enjoyed Malaka’s presentation on the code-switching skills that individuals with split identities must master in order to adapt to their dual realities.
Communicated with the spirits of nature and the world beyond. These revered shamans were almost always women or feminized men, becoming a modern symbol of gender nonconformity. In this anthology, decolonization scholars, artists, poets, cultural theorists, and anthropologists offer insights into how to reclaim the healing spirit and wisdom of the Babayalans. The volume is rich in spiritual and cultural capital and provides a framework for use
A heartbreaking history lesson on the violence perpetuated by the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II. Galang recounts the grief of sixteen surviving Filipino “comfort women” who were among more than a thousand Filipinas abducted, tortured and defiled by the Japanese Imperial Army during their occupation of the Philippines.
Nine Filipino And Fil Am Authors In October Literary Reading
Illuminates with sensitivity, the legacy of the horror of war and the impossible courage it took to survive. Their testimonies are huwes de kanaja—justice by the knife. By reading this book, you witness the trauma and resilience of the female body.
Winner of The Restless Books Award for New Immigrant Writing, The Body Papers is a written and visual catalog of Grace Talusan’s life in suburban New England, with family photos, medical records, and government documents to complement her memories. As a young brown child in a predominantly white school, Grace struggled with racism as well as sexual abuse by her grandfather. In his teenage years, he learns about the turbulence of his family’s legal status in the US. Trauma from childhood and adolescence took root in her body in the form of cancer, forcing Grace to explore invasive surgeries as a preventative measure. In the midst of all the suffering, Grace finds a way to persevere and eventually finds love and catharsis in her return to her homeland.
A rich memoir that tells about the triumphs of Cinella Barnes who immigrated illegally to New York and the challenges she faced along the way. From under-the-table jobs that evade the authorities, to finding love with a southern white man; from motherhood without a support system, to the PTSD she faced from her complex experiences, these essays speak of self-preservation and determination to overcome adversity against all odds as a brown Filipina woman in a white American world.
It stands out from the other memoirs by Filipino authors on this reading list because it explores intersectionality and creates dialogue around colorism, privilege, gender, race, and sexuality. Meredith was born an albino man in the Philippines, treated like a spectacle for most of her childhood, but was given the opportunity to immigrate to the US as a teenager. Immediately upon arrival, she is perceived as “white” and navigates the new waters of acceptance among her American peers, while struggling with her shifting gender boundaries, transitioning from male to female during college. A terrifying voice that gives a refreshing nuance to the immigrant story.
The 50 Best Books Of Literary Journalism Of The 21st Century
Growing up biracial, Deborah Francisco Douglas wanted to learn more about her Filipino heritage. So on the fateful day when she was assigned to the Philippines as a Peace Corps volunteer, she hastily packed her bags to connect with her Filipino side. But what greets Douglas in the small mountain town of Baguio City is a humbling lesson about belonging, that community is not automatic but something that is earned. A story about returning to a home never visited but always lived in, Douglas reflects on the common ways we achieve inclusion and inspires those who want to volunteer abroad with his descriptive account of his time abroad.
Hello one of