Filipina American debut author displays the contradictions of Asian American experience with irony & enthusiasm, anger & wit.
These pieces by American-born Galang, some of which have appeared in magazines like Amerasia Journal, New Voices, and Quarterly West, offer insight into an immigrant group overshadowed by more familiar Asian immigrants, though their native land's relationship with the US has been long and close. The contrast between the long-held admiration for things American and the actual cost of living the American dream is a recurring theme here. In "Rose Colored," a visit to a dancer cousin, Mina, who has embraced her immigrant heritage, suggests to successful banker Rose that she may have tried too hard to escape her own past. In "Talk to Me, Milagros" and "Our Fathers," respectively, Nelda, a young Filipina-American, at first envies Milagros, the daughter of recently arrived immigrants, then witnesses Milagros's hurt as her father, an attorney in the Philippines, tries to adjust to being a busboy in the US; and a young girl watches as death disrupts her father's long struggle to bring his parents to America. Other tales explore the additional tensions of being female in families that still honor old country ways and ideals. In the title story, "wild" Mona is told the cautionary tale of her unmarried aunt Augustina, who was sent back to the Philippines pregnant. In two others, a woman is distressed to observe her brother turning her niece into a traditional Filipina woman ("Miss Teenage Sampaguita"); and a single woman faces family hostility when she returns home pregnant to visit her dying mother ("Contravida"). In another notable piece, "Filming Sausage," the protagonist, in charge of a film's continuity, is harassed by the director for being both female and Asian.
A welcome addition to the Filipina-American corpus, though no story here, despite Galang's best intentions, ever quite captures that long lingering sense of difference and dissonance that is so much the immigrant experience.
- Coffee House Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 15 - 17 Years
Meet the Author
Linh Dinh (born 1963) is a Vietnamese-American poet, fiction writer and translator. Dinh was born in Saigon, Vietnam, came to the US in 1975, and is living in Philadelphia. In 2005, he was a David Wong fellow at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, England .He spent 2002-2003 in Italy as a guest of the International Parliament of Writers and the town of Certaldo. He is the author of two collections of stories, Fake House (Seven Stories Press, 2000) and Blood and Soap (Seven Stories Press, 2004), and four books of poems, All Around What Empties Out (Tinfish, 2003), American Tatts (Chax, 2005), Borderless Bodies (Factory School, 2006) and Jam Alerts (Chax, 2007). His work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, Best American Poetry 2004, The Best American Poetry 2007, and Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, among other places. The Village Voice picked his Blood and Soap as one of the best books of 2004. Translated into Italian by Giovanni Giri, it is published in Italy as Elvis Phong è Morto. Dinh is also the editor of the anthologies Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (Seven Stories Press 1996) and Three Vietnamese Poets (Tinfish 2001), and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao (Tupelo 2006). He has translated many international poets into Vietnamese, and many Vietnamese poets and fiction writers into English, including Nguyen Quoc Chanh, Tran Vang Sao, Van Cam Hai and Nguyen Huy Thiep.
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