Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Importance of Literature, by Linda Ty-Casper #FilBookFest2017

Noted Filipina Author, Linda Ty-Casper, could not attend the celebration of her new book, A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories (PALH 2017) at the Fourth Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco. Her daughter, Kristina Casper-Denham attended the HOT OFF THE PRESS Literary Reading on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in Linda's place.  Linda wrote the following, and with her permission I am sharing her wise words:

The Importance of Literature
by Linda Ty-Casper

Reading our stories together, is a special communion of sharing, a recognition of the importance of literature to our lives, that of our lives to  our country’s life; and our country’s life to that of the world.

All the different literatures form the “human geology” of the world: its human layers. Containing our stories, literature offers a human face and heart to historical dates and statistics, so our past
becomes visible to the  present,  becomes our own experience—enriching, strengthening us; giving us resilience.

It is in our literature that our history is kept safe from revisions. For literature is our true memory, our country’s memory, the world’s memory of us.

If we do not write our stories, who will? If we do not read them how will we know ourselves?  Because it is in our literature that we pay full attention to ourselves, that we imagine and dream ourselves. As long as our literature exists, we will not disappear from our own thoughts, from the thoughts of the world.

If history is our biography; literature is our autobiography, containing the memory of our spirit, the reflections of our existence, the promise of what we can become: literature is our attempt to understand ourselves, to  recover lost destinations, to preserve the thoughts and feelings and hopes too deep to utter. Giving us roots and meaning and direction, our literature is what we are: what we were, and what we can be. 

Linda Ty-Casper 
            A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories (Philippine American Literary House/PALH 2017 & UST Publishing House forthcoming)

Linda Ty-Casper is the author of 16 books that deal with Philippine events from the 18th century, the 1896 Philippine revolution, the Philippine-American War (1898-1902), World War II, on to the Martial Law years of the Marcos Dictatorship, and the post-Marcos days until the early 2000s, where her recent novella, A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories, leads us.  So powerful are her writings that two of her historical novels (Fortress in the Plaza and Wings of Stone) were banned in the Philippines during the Marcos Dictatorship.

Ms. Casper’s awards include the SEA WRITE Award, UNESCO/P.E.N., Rockefeller (Bellagio), Radcliffe Fellowship, among others.

l-r: Kristina Casper-Denham and Cecilia Brainard showing off Linda Ty-Casper's new book, A River, One-Woman Deep: Stories

Tags: #FilAm #FilAmBookFest #literature #poetry authors, writers, Philippine American, fiction, books, Asian American, Filipina

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