A Letter to My Father: Growing up Filipina and American / Edition 1

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A Filipina American woman recalls her childhood during wartime and peace

Going from the jungles of the wartime Philippines to the schoolyards of northwestern Oklahoma is no easy transition. For one twelve-year-old girl, it meant distance not only across the globe but also within her own family.

Born to a Filipino father and an American mother, Helen Madamba experienced terrifying circumstances at a young age. During World War II, her father, Jorge, fought as an American soldier in his native Philippines, and his family camped in jungles and slept in caves for more than two years to evade capture by the Japanese. But once the family relocated to Woodward, Oklahoma, young Helen faced a different kind of struggle.

Here Mossman tells of her efforts to repudiate her Asian roots so she could fit into American mainstream culture—and her later efforts to come to terms with her identity during the tumultuous 1960s. As she recounts her father’s wartime exploits and gains an appreciation of his life, she learns to rejoice in her biracial and multicultural heritage.

Written with the skill of a gifted storyteller and graced with photos that capture both of Helen’s worlds, A Letter to My Father is a poignant story that will resonate with anyone familiar with the struggle to reconcile past and present identities.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806139098
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Madamba Mossman is an award-winning journalist and former managing editor of the daily newspaper in Woodward.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     xi
Preface and Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction: My Father, Jorge Arzaga Madamba     3
A Handsome Young Stranger     8
Iva Harrison     12
Rumors of War     19
A Child before the War     28
Our Dear Friend Picar     34
Father Oomun     41
Aunt Charlotte     47
Pearl Harbor     52
Colonel Neil Brittan     58
A Letter from My Father     65
The First Hideout     67
A Book of Matches and an Apple     73
The Coming of Major Villamor     81
The Abyss of Danger     86
The Christmas of '43     99
My Brother     101
Edge of Capture     105
Flight through Fear     110
The Killing Waters     114
Blue Sky     120
The Life March     123
Crosses     129
Greater Love Hath No Man     131
The Eleventh Hour     137
San Francisco     141
Oklahoma     146
"What Was the War Really Like?"     150
Now I Know My Father     156
Epilogue: This Side of the Looking Glass     162
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2008

    An outstanding author

    So well written and heartfelt it is an effortless read.I was moved by the family's struggle to stay together with so much war tearing then apart. Please read this book it will give you a renewed sence of spirit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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