Monstress

Monstress

4.3 3
by Lysley Tenorio
     
 

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Monstress introduces a bold new writer who explores the clash and meld of disparate cultures. In the National Magazine Award-nominated title story, a has-been movie director and his reluctant leading lady travel from Manila to Hollywood for one last chance at stardom, unaware of what they truly stand to lose. In "Felix Starro," a famous Filipino faith

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Overview

Monstress introduces a bold new writer who explores the clash and meld of disparate cultures. In the National Magazine Award-nominated title story, a has-been movie director and his reluctant leading lady travel from Manila to Hollywood for one last chance at stardom, unaware of what they truly stand to lose. In "Felix Starro," a famous Filipino faith healer and his grandson conduct an illicit business in San Francisco, though each has his own plans for their earnings. And after the Beatles reject an invitation from Imelda Marcos for a Royal Command Performance, an aging bachelor attempts to defend her honor by recruiting his three nephews to attack the group at the Manila International Airport in "Help."

Lysley Tenorio reveals the lives of people on the outside looking in with rare skill, humor, and deep understanding, in stories framed by tense, fascinating dichotomies—tenderness and power, the fantastical and the realistic, the familiar and the strange. Breathtakingly original, Monstress marks the arrival of a singular new voice in American fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Andrew Haig Martin
Tenorio's first collection of stories takes a refreshingly off-kilter approach to the lives of Filipinos in America…Tenorio's prose isn't flashy, but his stories are impeccably constructed, leading us calmly but insistently through the characters' external and internal landscapes.
—The New York Times Book Review
NPR.org
“Tenorio, born in the Philippines and raised in California, has taken a uniquely Filipino-American perspective, polyglot and glittering with cinema dreams, and used it to make a bold collection of stories of the rejected, the helpless and the lost. Monstress is the debut of a singular talent.”
Elle
“A wondrous clutch of stories that pits the customs and superstitions of his Philippines homeland against the fads and fetishes of his adopted America. Set in Manila, Hollywood, and San Francisco, these yarns feature... memorably endearing eccentrics.”
The Onion A.V. Club
“[Monstress] introduces a unique voice from an underrepresented slice of the American experience.”
Boston Globe
“[A] compassionate and entertaining new collection…The book’s most poignant tale is Save the I-Hotel, a chiaroscuro of loneliness that’s also a quiet portrait of abiding friendship and life-changing betrayal.”
The Oregonian (Portland)
“Tenorio skillfully balances the beautiful and grotesque, the fantastical and commonplace to arrive at his particularly insightful renderings of the human condition.... [The] reader feels an immediate sense of intimacy with the most unlikely of protagonists.”
San Francisco Weekly
“Tenorio lays bare hearts that dare to hope but wind up disappointed, always with the wit and power of a born storyteller.”
San Jose Mercury News
“[A]n impressive debut… Although the situations are sometimes bleak, the stories benefit from Tenorio’s wry sense of humor.”
Washington Independent Review of Books
“MONSTRESS, a debut collection of short stories by Lysley Tenorio, is a gift: a chance to understand what those Filipino émigrés might have been saying about their lives, loves, disappointments and sense of being the other…Don’t expect happy endings, but do expect to be moved, dazzled and surprised.”
Los Angeles Times
“Tenorio’s stories, set amid mingling nationalities and generations, prompt comparisons to the works of Junot Díaz and Jhumpa Lahiri… But the refreshingly wry stories...are rangier and...focused on uncanny moments when a character realizes that something essential to his or her life might be...false and frightening.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“[W]insome…illuminating…[Tenorio] manages to make fabulous setups plausible through his meticulous crafting, deeply imagining the lives of a memorable cast of eccentrics.... For readers who shy away from short stories on the grounds that they’re often quiet or uneventful...Tenorio might make a convert of you.”
Booklist
“Complex, and powerful....This first collection introduces a writer of great promise, whose stories can illustrate tenderness at one minute and human cruelty not much later. Tenorio’s writing is immediate, visceral even....[A] vital addition for short-fiction collections [and] readers of Junot Diaz, Chang-Rae Lee, and Jessica Hagedorn.”
Slate
“[A] jittery, caffeinated, dazzling collection with a poignant center. The characters, straddling Filipino and American traditions, will charm you with their wit and devastate you with their loneliness. And in addition to being quirky and moving, the eight stories unfold beautifully in language that evokes…Junot Diaz.”
The XX Factor Slate
“Tenorio writes persuasively about otherness and connection… [his] characters are zany, witty, and beautifully drawn… Ultimately, though, it is the unassuming pitch of these stories that makes them so exquisitely deadly.”
Anthony Doerr
“Lysley Tenorio’s first book [is] better than I hoped: poignant, imaginative, somehow sad and funny all at once. Tenorio’s characters walk tightropes strung between the Philippines and America, between illusions and reality, between family ties and the need to strike out alone. Monstress is a wonderful read. ”
Chang-Rae Lee
“The stories in Monstress announce the debut of an electric literary talent. Brilliantly quirky, often moving, always gorgeously told, these are tales of big-hearted misfits who yearn for their authentic selves with extraordinary passion and grace. Bravo for this fabulous American fiction!”
Peter Ho Davies
“Lysley Tenorio is a writer of sly wit and lively invention—these are stories bursting with wonders...but most wondrous of all is his intimate sense of character. Each story is a confession of love betrayed, told with a mournful, austere tenderness as heartbreaking as it is breathtaking.”
Jessica Hagedorn
Lysley Tenorio’s darkly funny stories capture the contradictions and complexities of being both Filipino and a citizen of the world. Tenorio is a deep and original writer, and Monstress is simply a beautiful book.
Ben Fountain
“Tenorio is that rare breed of writer who mines gold from the impossible. He sees everything—the absurd and the tragic, the funny and profound—and delivers stories that are as true to life as any you will ever read.”
Rishi Reddi
“In these fantastic stories, Tenorio skillfully blends the unlikely and the emotional, the bizarre and the humane. His writing portrays the universal human condition through unique specificity, and is very deserving of attention.”
Daniel Orozco
“Tenorio’s wit is understated; his writing is deft and self-assured; his dramas don’t shout, but whisper, seductive and heartfelt. Monstress is one of the wisest and heartfelt collections I’ve read. I’ve waited a long time for this book.”
Sabina Murray
Monstress is an exhilarating rollercoaster of a book. Deeply funny, heartbreaking, hopeful, philosophical, bawdy, and wise, Tenorio’s stories, written from the underbelly of the American Dream, present one brilliant portrait after another.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062059604
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/31/2012
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
54,699
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

Peter Ho Davies
“Lysley Tenorio is a writer of sly wit and lively invention—these are stories bursting with wonders...but most wondrous of all is his intimate sense of character. Each story is a confession of love betrayed, told with a mournful, austere tenderness as heartbreaking as it is breathtaking.”
Rishi Reddi
“In these fantastic stories, Tenorio skillfully blends the unlikely and the emotional, the bizarre and the humane. His writing portrays the universal human condition through unique specificity, and is very deserving of attention.”
Ben Fountain
“Tenorio is that rare breed of writer who mines gold from the impossible. He sees everything—the absurd and the tragic, the funny and profound—and delivers stories that are as true to life as any you will ever read.”
Daniel Orozco
“Tenorio’s wit is understated; his writing is deft and self-assured; his dramas don’t shout, but whisper, seductive and heartfelt. Monstress is one of the wisest and heartfelt collections I’ve read. I’ve waited a long time for this book.”
Sabina Murray
Monstress is an exhilarating rollercoaster of a book. Deeply funny, heartbreaking, hopeful, philosophical, bawdy, and wise, Tenorio’s stories, written from the underbelly of the American Dream, present one brilliant portrait after another.”
Anthony Doerr
“Lysley Tenorio’s first book [is] better than I hoped: poignant, imaginative, somehow sad and funny all at once. Tenorio’s characters walk tightropes strung between the Philippines and America, between illusions and reality, between family ties and the need to strike out alone. Monstress is a wonderful read. ”
Chang-Rae Lee
“The stories in Monstress announce the debut of an electric literary talent. Brilliantly quirky, often moving, always gorgeously told, these are tales of big-hearted misfits who yearn for their authentic selves with extraordinary passion and grace. Bravo for this fabulous American fiction!”
Jessica Hagedorn
Lysley Tenorio’s darkly funny stories capture the contradictions and complexities of being both Filipino and a citizen of the world. Tenorio is a deep and original writer, and Monstress is simply a beautiful book.

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Meet the Author

Lysley Tenorio's stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Zoetrope: All-Story, Ploughshares, Manoa, and The Best New American Voices and The Pushcart Prize anthologies. A winner of the Whiting Writer's Award and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he has received fellowships from the University of Wisconsin, Phillips Exeter Academy, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Born in the Philippines, he currently lives in San Francisco and is an associate professor at Saint Mary's College of California.

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Monstress 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
crayolakym More than 1 year ago
“Montress” is an invigorating and intrepid compilation of several short stories filled to the brim with heartfelt, anticipation, philosophical, unexpected surprise that will leave the reader reaching deep into their souls to question if they too are not living life to the fullest and what their sense of being might truly be. Tenorio's writing won't leave you feeling completed with that happy ending most books have, but it will inspire you nonetheless. The book itself is lovely with the french flap cover (my favorite for paperbacks) and the rough torn page edges that breath light into the character of this book. If you desire beauty in both the cover and the story within, pick up this book. You won't regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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