Manila Noir

Manila Noir

by Jessica Hagedorn
     
 

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Winner of the National Book Award for Best Anthology from the Manila Critics Circle!

"While certain cities in past Akashic volumes might appear to lack an obvious noir element, Manila (like Mexico City, which shares many of the same problems) practically defines it, as shown by the 14 selections in this excellent anthology. As Hagedorn points out in her

Overview


Winner of the National Book Award for Best Anthology from the Manila Critics Circle!

"While certain cities in past Akashic volumes might appear to lack an obvious noir element, Manila (like Mexico City, which shares many of the same problems) practically defines it, as shown by the 14 selections in this excellent anthology. As Hagedorn points out in her insightful introduction, Manila is a city burdened with a violent and painful past, with a long heritage of foreign occupation. The specters of WWII (during which the city suffered from U.S. saturation bombing), and the oppressive 20-year reign of dictator Ferdinand Marcos live on in recent memory. The Filipino take on noir includes a liberal dose of the gothic and supernatural, with disappearance and loss being constants."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"For those who love travel, history, and a little bit of lore, this anthology transports you to the Philippines and is filled with riveting and sometimes dark stories of the capital city."
--Glamour (Summer Reading pick)

"Suffice it to say that what the Noir series in general, and Manila Noir in particular, does so well is to create a 360-degree mosaic of a place...By including so many perspectives, from so many walks of life, Manila Noir makes Manila seem as vibrant, and dangerous, and exciting, and confounding as it really felt to live there."
--Lit Wrap

"A collection of stories like Akashic's forthcoming Manila Noir is enough to set a crime-fiction addict's mouth watering."
--New York Observer

Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: Lourd De Veyra, Gina Apostol, Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, F.H. Batacan, Jose Dalisay Jr., Eric Gamalinda, Jessica Hagedorn, Angelo Lacuesta, R. Zamora Linmark, Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Sabina Murray, Jonas Vitman, Marianne Villanueva, and Lysley Tenorio.

From the introduction by Jessica Hagedorn:

"Manila's a city of survivors, schemers, and dreamers...A city of extremes. Where the rich live in posh enclaves, guarded by men with guns. Where the poor improvise homes out of wood, tin, and cardboard and live by their wits. Where five-star hotels and luxury malls selling Prada and Louis Vuitton coexist with toxic garbage dumps and sprawling 'informal settlements' (a.k.a. squatter settlements), where religious zeal coexists with superstition, where 'hospitality' might be another word for prostitution, where sports and show business can be the first step to politics, where politics can be synonymous with nepotism, cronyism, and corruption, where violence is nothing out of the ordinary, and pretty much anything can be had for a price--if you have the money and/or the connections, that is...

As you will see from this steamy collection of stories, all these delicious contradictions serve to enrich and expand our concept of noir. What you will also find are the noir essentials: alienated and desperate characters, terse dialogue, sudden violence, betrayals left and right...All the fabulous and fearless writers gathered here have a deep connection and abiding love for this crazy-making, intoxicating city. There's nothing like it in the world, and they know it."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While certain cities in past Akashic volumes might appear to lack an obvious noir element, Manila (like Mexico City, which shares many of the same problems) practically defines it, as shown by the 14 selections in this excellent anthology. As Hagedorn points out in her insightful introduction, Manila is a city burdened with a violent and painful past, with a long heritage of foreign occupation. The specters of WWII (during which the city suffered from U.S. saturation bombing), and the oppressive 20-year reign of dictator Ferdinand Marcos live on in recent memory. The Filipino take on noir includes a liberal dose of the gothic and supernatural, with disappearance and loss being constants. We read of families splintered by violence, drugs and desperation, mothers and fathers forced to leave their families to find work abroad. There's also the economic colonialism of call centers, a major form of employment in Manila. Sabina Murray's "Broken Glass," Lourd de Veyra's "Satan Has Already Bought U," and F.H. Batacan's "Comforter of the Afflicted" are among the stand-outs, along with Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo's superb graphic story, "Trese: Thirteen Stations." (June)
From the Publisher

"Held closely to their breasts by the stories are messy, edged lives flaring out in seemingly random directions. But the 14 stories themselves are all elegant and smooth, like a bladed weapon concealed in a jacket. They strike suddenly but thoroughly, leaving you wounded. Embedded in each story is a deep acceptance of the fantastically flawed life in the big city and a step out of the ordinary...Manila Noir is a masterfully crafted anthology that reminds us that, if you truly love your city, you embrace its darkness as much as--if not more than--its brightness."
--Inquirer (Philippines)

"Excellently crafted and woven together, Jessica has compiled a series of short stories that exhibit the perfect setting and story for noir. Wonderful!"
--FMAM Magazine

"This Southeast sampler is unique, possessing an overall gritty tone. Each slice of supernatural splendor pulls the reader in with their nontraditional heroes...Ultimately, readers get a strong taste of the real Manila and all her dark secrets, wanting more of while being slightly afraid of what she might do next. Manila is the perfect place for noir scenes to occur, and it is easy to get sucked into its deadly nightshade of doom."
--Criminal Class Press

"[Manila Noir] is among the most moving, effective and altogether noir entry in the entire series."
--Bookgasm

"In...Manila Noir, the latest addition to Akashic Book's series of original noir anthologies, poet, novelist, and artist Jessica Hagedorn writes of how ghosts of past occupations, buried secrets, corrupt political dealings, crime, and inequality have shaped the fabric of the Philippine capital city."
--The Margins

"It is Manila itself--its heat and throb, its particular melange of Asia and America, its poverty and wealth, its diverse neighborhoods, the iconic pan de sal--that is the main protagonist in the collection as a whole...every reader--even those with weak stomachs or no particular affinity for noir--is likely to find some that are intriguing, enjoyable or eye-opening."
--Asian Review of Books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781617751608
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Publication date:
06/04/2013
Series:
Akashic Noir Series
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
1,171,003
Product dimensions:
5.48(w) x 8.05(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author


Jessica Hagedorn was born in Manila and now lives in New York. A novelist, poet, and playwright, her published works include Toxicology, The Gangster of Love, and Dogeaters, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. She also edited both volumes of the groundbreaking anthology Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction.

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