New work from prominent Filipino American authors.
Hagedorn will be reading from her novel, Toxicology, and Linmark will present from his new book, Leche.
Poet, novelist, and playwright R. Zamora Linmark is the author of the best-selling novel Rolling the R’s (Kaya Press) and two collections of poetry, Prime Time Apparitions and The Evolution of a Sigh, both from Hanging Loose Press. A recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including two from the Fulbright Foundation, a Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a U.S.–Japan Friendship Commission, he has published in numerous journals and anthologies in the U.S. and the Philippines.
After thirteen years of living in the U.S., Vince returns to his birthplace, the Philippines. As Vince ventures into the heat and chaos of the city, he encounters a motley cast of characters, including a renegade nun, a political film director, arrogant hustlers, and the country’s spotlight-driven First Daughter. Haunted by his childhood memories and a troubled family history, Vince unravels the turmoil, beauty, and despair of a life caught between a fractured past and a precarious future. Witty and mesmerizing, Leche explores the complex colonial and cultural history of the Philippines and the paradoxes inherent in the search for both personal and national identities.
Jessica Hagedorn, a novelist, poet, and playwright, was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the United States in her teens. Her books include the novels Dogeaters (a finalist for the National Book Award and the recipient of an American Book Award) The Gangster of Love, and Dream Jungle (a New York Times Notable Book), and Danger and Beauty, a collection of selected poetry and short fiction. Hagedorn was the editor of the Asian American fiction anthology Charlie Chan is Dead.
Toxicology revolves around two women who are neighbors in Manhattan’s West Village—Mimi, a filmmaker whose only screen credit is a notorious low-budget “slasher” movie, and who is on the prowl for inspiration and new material, and Eleanor, a reclusive, legendary writer of experimental erotic novels, who is close to eighty-years-old and addicted to cocaine and alcohol. Mimi and Eleanor’s worlds collide in unexpected ways as Eleanor grieves over the loss of her lover, the renowned painter Yvonne Wilder, and as Mimi confronts the challenges presented by the inexplicable vanishing of her drug-dealing boyfriend, Bobby. We also meet Mimi’s recently clean and rather out-of-it brother Carmelo, as well as her estranged and rebellious teenage daughter Violet. Casting an inexplicably dark cloud over everyone’s lives is the ghost of Agnes—an “illegal” and cousin of Mimi’s who might have been murdered by her New Jersey employers. A bold, playful, and touching novel about the connection between creativity and self-destruction, Toxicology marks the welcome return of an original and compelling voice in American fiction.
The Spring 2011 Asian American Studies Department Colloquia is co-sponsored by the Asian American Studies Center, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Center for the Study of Women, “Cultures in Transnational Perspective” Mellon Postdoctoral Program in the Humanities, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Department of Comparative Literature, Department of English, LGBT Studies Program, Women’s Studies Department, Asian American and Pacific Islander Undergraduate Association (APIUA), Asian American Studies Graduate Student Association (AASGSA), Samahang Pilipino, Pilipino American Graduate Student Association (PAGaSA), Pilipino Alumni Association (PAA).
Cost: Free and open to the public.
No reservations required.