Tuesday, November 16, 2010

VIGAN AND OTHER STORIES by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard Released in the Philippines

WITHOUT any fanfare, my third short story collection will be released on November 17 in the Philippines by Anvil. If you're in the Philippines and find this book in National Bookstore or Powerbooks, do pick up a copy of the orphan. I haven't even seen the actual book! The cover study with the blurbs below is not the final one. I am sure that Philippine Expressions in the U.S. will have copies of this book in a few months time.

I'll be writing more about my three short story collections, what the stories are about, the publishers, and other anecdotes related to the books, so visit my blog again.

“In this, her third collection of short stories, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard shows an uncanny talent for speaking in varied voices that bridge time and place: she is at home in Vigan, the mythical Ubec (Cebu), Sagada, Manila, Cusco, Peru, Calcutta, Chartres, California, bringing each location alive with loving detail. She speaks as a school girl, an older woman, a love-struck boy, a stolen child, an underground revolutionary. She writes of her own family and childhood with love and sadness and a deep sense of humanity. Most charming? “Meeting Che Guevara”, which starts out “I was nineteen when I met Che Guevara.”’ ~ Susan Evangelista, Professor, Palawan State University

“This is a rich and generous collection of stories. They spring from various sources--autobiographical, anecdotal and experimental. It entertains the casual reader, instructs aspiring and practising writers alike, and enriches the country's culture. “ ~ Paulino Lim, Jr., Professor Emeritus, California State University

“Cecilia’s style is even more spare or sparing, letting the words do the barest possible work of depicting action, description, or sequencing the events in the collected narratives…I’d call this style, which seems fairly unique to her (even when compared to that of old masters like Bulosan and Gonzalez), as scenographic, to borrow a term from cinema.” ~ Oscar V. Campomanes, Professor, Ateneo de Manila University

Cecilia's Bio:Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the award-winning author of eight books, including the internationally-acclaimed novel, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, Vigan and Other Stories, Acapulco at Sunset and Other Stories, Philippine Woman in America, Woman With Horns and Other Stories, Cecilia's Diary 1962-1968, and Fundamentals of Creative Writing. She edited four books: Growing Up Filipino I and II, Fiction by Filipinos in America, Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America. Cecilia co-edited six books, including Journey of 100 Years: Reflections on the Centennial of Philippine Independence; Behind the Walls: Life of Convent GirlsAla Carte: Food and Fiction, and Finding God: True Stories of Spiritual Encounters. She has also written a novel with four other women entitled, Angelica's Daughters, a Dugtungan Novel. Her work has been translated into Finnish and Turkish; and many of her stories and articles have been widely anthologized.

Cecilia has received a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction, a Brody Arts Fund Award, a Special Recognition Award for her work dealing with Asian American youths, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate, 21st District. She has also been awarded by the Filipino and Filipino American communities she has served. In 1998, she received the Outstanding Individual Award from her birth city, Cebu, Philippines. She has received several travel grants in the Philippines, from the USIS (United States Information Service). In 2001, she received a Filipinas Magazine Award for Arts.

She has lectured and performed in worldwide literary arts organizations and universities, including UCLA, USC, University of Connecticut, University of the Philippines, PEN, Beyond Baroque, Shakespeare & Company in Paris, and many others. She teaches creative writing at the Writers Program at UCLA-Extension. 

She is married to Lauren R. Brainard, a former Peace Corp Volunteer to Leyte, Philippines; they have three sons.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Growing Up Filipino II - Readings by Contributors

Here are YouTube video clips of Readings by some contributors to the book, Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults:

YouTube - Veronica Montes Reads from Growing Up Filipino II

YouTube - Rashaan Alexis Meneses Reads from Growing Up Filipino II

YouTube - Amalia Bueno's Story in Growing Up Filipino II (read by Barbara Jane Reyes)

YouTube- Marianne Villanueva Reads from Growing Up Filipino II

YouTube - Tony Robles Reads from Growing Up Filipino II

The book is Available from: www.palhbooks.com, Philippine Expressions, Arkipelago, Amazon.com, The Book House, Follet Library Resources, Midwest Library.

BRAINARD, Cecilia Manguerra, ed. Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults. 254p. PALH. 2010. Tr $29.95. ISBN 978-0-9719458-2-1; pap. $21.95. ISBN 978-0-9719458-3-8. LC 2002104406.

Gr 9 Up—This collection of 27 short stories, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Growing Up Filipino (PALH, 2003), reflects the impact of post-9/11 wartime sensibilities among Filipino writers living in the Philippines, the United States, and Canada. Although similar topics of family, memoir, and coming-of-age thread through both collections, the pieces are not grouped by theme, but nevertheless weave a constantly shifting tapestry of Filipino identity. The challenges and conflicts of unique ancestry and struggles for identity provide a rich background for modern urban realism. The brittle memoirs reflected in "Here in the States," "Nurse Rita," and "Hammer Lounge"; original legend in "A Season of 10,000 Noses"; and breathtaking tragedy in "How My Mother Flew," among others, are compelling reading. Some selections have terse, spare language; others are almost commonplace in their apparent simplicity; all capture moments and nuances of the modern Filipino experience that will envelop readers. Brainard has again selected powerful, evocative stories of family: of promises and disappointment, failure and resentment, tenacious and all-consuming love, anxiety and transcendent hope. There is plenty here to stimulate discussion and encourage an appreciation of Filipino writing and culture. This anthology is a worthy successor to the first volume and has appeal to an audience beyond high school literature courses.—Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green

Source: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6727442.html?industryid=47067

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

FIL-AM AUTHORS WRITING, by Libay Linsangan Cantor, The Manila Times

I just found this article that mentions me. Thanks to Libay Linsangan Cantor for this:

Fil-Am Authors WritingThe Manila Times, 7/4/10

With all the buzz about Filipino YouTube singing sensation Charice finally making it to Hollywood’s “it” show of the moment, Glee, I wonder if fellow Pinoys are familiar with other Filipino talents already making names for themselves as Filipino-American authors. If we would take a look at Pinoys getting published in the USA, we might have more pride about our race making it in the land of milk and honey when it comes to the literary field.

Most people might have missed Jessica Hagedorn when she visited Manila a few years ago to promote her latest novel, Dream Jungle, published by Viking Books in 2003. She is more identified with her very postmodern take on the Marcos regime in her novel Dogeaters published by Penguin Books in 1990. While it might sound very political, this novel of hers is a very interesting read, given the very eclectic voices of the characters we encounter in Metro Manila amid the backdrop of many pop culture trappings we Filipinos drown in on a daily basis. Hagedorn was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to San Francisco when she was a teenager. In the US, she also dabbles in other art forms as a poet, performance artist and playwright.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is another person that comes to mind when we talk about Fil-Am authors. She is the author of the 1990s novel When The Rainbow Goddess Wept published several times by different international and local publishing houses. She has also authored various creative nonfiction books to her name, and sometimes visits the Philippines to promote them or to give talks during their launch here.
Brainard is also active as an editor of various short story collections and nonfiction anthologies like Growing Up Filipino: Stories For Youth Adults, a collection of how it’s like to grow up as a Filipino in the Philippines and in other parts of the world. I’m proud to have an essay of mine included in that 2003 young adult anthology of hers, and I’m also happy to learn that this anthology is being used in some US schools in teaching children and young adults about Filipino experiences. Brainard was born in Cebu and finished college here in the Philippines before migrating to the USA and settling down there to start a family. She is currently active as a teacher at the Writer’s Program of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension.

Another Fil-Am author with an acclaimed novel is Bino Realuyo, author of Umbrella Country published in 1999 by Ballantine Reader’s Circle. The novel is a heartwarming tale about a boy living in an impoverished urban poor community in Manila who undergoes a lot of challenges in his life, including dealing with sexuality issues. The son of a Bataan Death March survivor, Realuyo was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the US where he made New York his home for many years. He is also a poet, educator and works on various labor rights and human rights issues.

Just these three Fil-Am authors’ achievements alone make us proud that they uphold their Pinoy roots through their literature. Next time, we’ll try to discover more Fil-Am writers writing about our worlds.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Literary Reading by Cecilia Brainard and Veronica Montes from the book, Angelica's Daughters, a Dugtungan Novel - enjoy! The reading was at the Book Launching of Angelica's Daughters in San Francisco, November 6, 2010, sponsored by PAWA and Arkipelago Bookstore.


1) Veronica Montes and Cecilia Brainard ham it up at the Literary Reading;
2) Group photo shows l-r: Cecilia Brainard, Penelope Flores Carmen Domingo-Kirk, Veronica Montes
3) PAWA President Edwin Lozada and Cecilia Brainard

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Upcoming Literary Events for Cecilia

Friday - Cecilia Brainard is giving a talk to some students at Galileo Science and Technology who have read the novel, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept in their classroom;
Saturday - Book launch of Angelica's Daughters in San Francisco, sponsored by PAWA, with Veronica Montes and Cecilia Brainard reading and signing the book.