The Betrayed

by Reine Arcache Melvin
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2018

Melvin The Betrayed is set in a time of dictatorship and political unrest, and it tells the story of two sisters who love the same man. Their passion threatens to lead to betray each other as well as everything that their father stood for. Shy, idealistic Pilar initially resolves to continue her father’s fight against the dictator, while her flamboyant older sister Lali reacts by marrying Arturo, the dicator’s godson. Each tries to find their place in the violent world and continues against the struggle of political corruption and desire. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Reine Arcache Melvin now lives in Paris. Her short stories have appeared in literary reviews and anthologies in the United States, France, and Philippines.

 

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Stealing with the Eyes

by Will Buckingham
University of Chicago Press, 2018

Stealing with the Eyes.inddAs an anthropologist in training, Will Buckingham went to the Tanimbar Islands of Indonesia with a mission to meet three sculptors: the crippled Matias Fatruan, the buffalo hunter Abraham Amelwatin, Damianus Masele, who was skilled in black magic, but who abstains out of Christian principle. Stealing with the Eyes acts as part memoir and part travelogue, and focuses on the story of these three sculptors. After getting involved with witchcraft, fever, and sickness, Buckingham questions the validity of his anthropological studies before eventually abandoning them.

Buckingham’s encounters with these sculptors also interweaves Tanimbarese history, myth, and philosophy that dates back to ancient times. This story reveals the tension between the past and future, and raises questions on how to make sense of a world that is in constant flux.

Will Buckingham is a writer of fiction and nonfiction for adults and children. He is currently a reader in Writing and Creativity at the Faculty of Humanities at De Montfort University and the author of Sixty-Four Chance Pieces and Lucy and the Rocket Dog.

(Adapted from the publisher’s description)

Benedicta Takes Wing

Montes_BendictaTakesWing

by Veronica Montes
Philippine American Literary House, 2018

Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories is a collection of fourteen fictional stories focused on Filipino families. It explores their struggles as navigate through a world influenced by both their native customs and American media. It depicts the grief and joy, and denials and affections that keep these families together. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Veronica Montes is a Filipino-American writer who lives in the Bay Area of Northern California. Her stories are inspired by the Filipino and mainstream American cultures that she grew up in.

The Newspaper Widow

The Newspaper Widowby Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2017

Set in 1909, during the early years of American occupation in the Philippines, The Newspaper Widow tells the story of a woman who searches for answers to a murder so that she may free her son from jail. While the story begins as a murder mystery, it develops into an exploration of the meanings of love, loyalty, and friendship.

The Newspaper Widow was inspired by the story of Cecilia Brainard’s great-grandmother, who was widowed at the age of thirty-nine and took over Imprenta Rosario, her late husband’s press in Cebu, Philippines. (Adapted from publisher’s description and press release)

Cecilia Brainard teaches creative writing at UCLA-Extension.

Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora

2Q==edited by Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Lan Duong, Mariam B. Lam, and Kathy L. Nguyen
University of Washington Press, 2014

Pairing image and text, Troubling Borders showcases creative writing and visual artworks by sixty-one women of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao, Thai, and Filipino ancestry. The collection features compelling storytelling that troubles the borders of categorization and reflects the multilayered experience of Southeast Asian women.

The diverse voices featured here have been shaped by colonization, wars, globalization, and militarization. For some of these women on the margins of the margin, crafting and showing their work is a bold act in itself. Their provocative and accessible creations tell unique stories, provide a sharp contrast to familiar stereotypes – Southeast Asian women as exotic sex symbols, dragon ladies, prostitutes, and “bar girls”-and serve as entry points for broader discussions on questions of history, memory, and identity. (Publisher’s website)

Isabelle Thuy Pelaud is associate professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University; Lan Duong is associate professor of media and cultural studies at the University of California, Riverside; Mariam B. Lam is associate professor of comparative literature, media and cultural studies, and director of Southeast Asian studies, at the University of California, Riverside; and Kathy L. Nguyen is a writer and editor in San Francisco.

 

 

Water the Moon

by Fiona Sze-Lorrainby Fiona Sze-Lorrain
Marick Press Press, 2010.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain was born in Singapore, and grew up in a hybrid of cultures. After receiving a British education, she moved to the States, and graduated from Columbia University and New York University before pursuing a Ph.D. at Paris IV-Sorbonne. She has performed as a zheng concertist worldwide. As one of the editors at Cerise Press, she writes and translates in English, French and Chinese. She lives in both New York City and Paris, France. (Publisher’s information)

Drifting House

Drifting Houseby Krys Lee
Viking/Penguin, 2012.

Spanning the Korean peninsula and the United States, from the postwar era to contemporary times, Krys Lee’s fiction debut, Drifting House, is about people who are torn between the traumas of their collective past and the indignities and sorrows of their present.

In the title story, children escaping famine in North Korea are forced to make unthinkable sacrifices to survive. The tales set in America reveal the immigrants’ unmoored existence, playing out in cramped apartments and Koreatown strip malls. A makeshift family is fractured when a shaman from the old country moves in next door. An abandoned wife enters into a fake marriage in order to find her kidnapped daughter. (Publisher’s description.)

Although born and currently living in Seoul, South Korea, Krys Lee spent much of her childhood in California and Washington and spent time in England. In 2012 she received a special mention in the Pushcart Prize Anthology. In 2006 she was included in a short list of finalists for the Best New American Voices.