Saturday, June 8, 2019

Philippine Edition of Cecilia Brainard's War Novel at #CebuLitFest


The Philippine edition of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s novel, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, will be released by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. The author, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, will be at the Cebu Literary Festival (CebuLitFest) on June 29 and 30, 2019, Ayala Center, Cebu, Philippines, to celebrate this publication.

The internationally acclaimed novel, When the Rainbow Goddess, first appeared under the title of Song of Yvonne in 1991. New York publisher Dutton/Penguin published it in 1994 under the title of When the Rainbow Goddess Wept. It was subsequently published by the University of Michigan Press (Ann Arbor Imprint). The novel, which received favorable reviews, was translated into Turkish by the Bilge Kultur Sanat in 2001. In print for almost thirty years, the novel remains the subject of numerous academic studies and continues to be used in English, Literature, History, even Political Science classrooms.

The book, the first of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s three novels, was inspired by the lives of her parents during World War Two. Brainard integrated Philippine epics and folklore with accounts she heard from her parents who had to flee to Mindanao and join the guerrilla movement to resist the Japanese invaders. The result is an amazing work of fiction, half-lyrical, half brutal reality, of World War Two in the Philippines as told through the eyes of the young protagonist Yvonne.

Kirkus Review critiqued the American edition of When the Rainbow Goddess as follows:
“A fast-paced, sensitively written first novel about the psychological damage war wreaks, seen through the eyes of an intelligent, resilient young girl. During WWII, as Japanese forces invade her native city of Ubec in the Philippines, nine-year-old Yvonne Macaraig escapes with her father and mother into the mountains, where they stay in villages whose inhabitants are fighting the Japanese … The author, herself born in the Philippines, skillfully interweaves realistic events with myths of women fighters and goddesses, as well as fantastic dreams … Brainard’s appealing characters are larger-than-life people who change before our eyes, yet remain utterly convincing.”

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the author of two other novels: Magdalena and The Newspaper Widow, both published by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. All three of her novels and many of her short stories are set (or partially set) in mythical Ubec, or Cebu backwards. Born and raised in Cebu, Philippines, Brainard has found great inspiration in the culture, history, and people of Cebu, of which she has written. 

She has expressed delight that When the Rainbow Goddess Wept now has a Philippine publisher since the American edition was not easily accessible to Filipino readers. 

She will be at the Cebu Literary Festival (Ayala Center, Cebu City) on June 29 and 30, 2019 to talk to those interested in her work as well as sign copies of her books. 

Brainard’s When the Rainbow Goddess Wept and her other novels (Magdalena and The Newspaper Widow) will be available at the #CebuLitFest. You can also purchase these from the #USTPublishingHouse.

Tags: novels,World War Two, World War II, book, literature, Philippines, Pacific War, Cebu, war novel 

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