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If this is your first visit, welcome! This site is devoted to my life experiences as a Filipino-American who immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1960. I came to the US as a graduate student when I was 26 years old. I am now in my early-80's and thanks God for his blessings, I have four successful and professional children and six grandchildren here in the US. My wife and I had been enjoying the snow bird lifestyle between US and Philippines after my retirement from USFDA in 2002. Please do not forget to read the latest national and International News in this site . I have also posted some of my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos in this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing on your copyrights. Cheers!
Monday, September 16, 2013
Popular Novels with Manila as the Setting
Are you an avid book reader? Prior to my blogging activities, I used to read novels about one novel per month. The following novels are all set in Manila. The first five are my favorites. I have not read numbers 6 to 10 as they are fairly new. Of course Number 11, Inferno by Dan Brown is my number one favorite as of today. The list is as follows with a brief summary of each novel.
1.The Blue Afternoon is a novel by William Boyd in 1993. It won the Sunday Express Book of the Year in the year of its publication and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. It is Los Angeles 1936. Kay Fischer is a young, ambitious architect who is shadowed by a mysterious stranger claiming to be her father. Within weeks of their first encounter, Kay will join him for an extraordinary journey into the old man's past, initially in search of a murderer, but finally in celebration of a glorious, undying love.( Manila Philippines)
2.Dogeaters is a novel written by Jessica Hagedorn and published in 1990. Hagedorn also adapted her novel into a play by the same name. Dogeaters, set in the late 1950s in Manila addresses several social, political and cultural issues present in the Philippines during the 1950s. The title is a common derogatory term referring to Filipino natives who supposedly eat dogs instead of pork or chicken. The term reflects attitudes within Filipino culture and attempts to become more westernized.
3.Mass is a 1973 historical and political novel written by Filipino National Artist F. Sionil José. The literary message of Mass was "a society intent only on calculating a man's price is one that ultimately devalues all men". The narrative of Mass pictured the Philippines during the years prior to and after the imposition of Martial Law in 1972, which occurred within the scope of the middle and the late periods of the twentieth century. It narrated about a movement advocating reform, the resulting struggle for human rights, students’ rights, tenants’ rights, and women’s rights, and mass protests that were manipulated by "fraudulent leaders". The uprising failed. One of the characters went back to Central Luzon to discover his origins in order to rebuild his life.
4.Cave and Shadows is a 1983 and Martial Law era thriller novel written by Philippine National Artist Nick Joaquin. The setting of the novel is during Ferdinand Marcos’s martial law in the Philippines, including the time in Manila when activism was alive and demonstrations were frequent before August 1972 (described as Joaquin’s “‘objective correlative’ to the Crisis of ’72” before the declaration of martial rule. It is a detective fiction that also deals with and arcane and historical cults involving beatas or “beatified women” (a group of religious lay women who were "repressed by a male-dominated, colonial order" and strange events occurring inside unfamiliar caves in the Metro Manila area. Other themes include politics, love, family, friendship, reconciliation, and tyranny.
5.Bamboo in the Wind is a 1990 novel written by Filipino author and Palanca Memorial Awards recipient Azucena Grajo Uranza. In 1972, months prior to the Martial Law declaration, Larry Esteva arrived in Manila, Philippines after studying in Boston, Massachusetts. At the Manila International Airport he witnessed a demonstration being dispersed by the Philippine military. Uranza portrayed the "last desperate efforts" of Filipinos – through characters that include a senator, a youthful nationalist, a dispossessed farmer, a drastic protester, a convent school girl, and a Jesuit academic – to prevent the fall of the Philippines under martial rule. But the political plague accompanied by demonstrations, demolitions, murders, burnings, arrests and tortures continued unhindered until Martial Law was officially declared in the month of September.
6.Manila Noir, edited by Jessica Hagedorn—Jessica Hagedorn first rose to international fame for “Dogeaters,” a novel set in 1950s Manila. Going back to her roots, she has come up with the landmark “Manila Noir,” an anthology of 14 stories from 14 different authors tackling the underbelly of Manila from the mythological creature known as the aswang, to shabu and drug use, premeditated crimes, and the social divide between the poor and the bourgeois.
7.“Moondogs” by Alexander Yates—In this 2011 novel, Benicio searches for his father, an American businessman, who disappeared while in Manila. Along the way he uncovers secrets he never knew about his father. The book gives us a glimpse of the Filipino and expat cultures with a dash of magic realism, complete with wizard-like policemen and a villainous rooster.
8.“Trash” by Andy Mulligan—While its setting is not explicitly stated, this 2010 Young Adult novel was inspired by the author’s visits to a Manila dumpsite. “Trash” features three dumpsite boys who find a treasure in mountains of steaming rubbish. It is a gripping story that exposes the reader to brutal realities of life in the lowest rungs of society: abject poverty, exploitation, and the grave effects of festering corruption.
9.“The Tesseract” by Alex Garland—Told in a nonlinear storyline, this 1998 novel depicts the lives of Manila gangsters, mothers and street children, whose fates randomly intersect. “Tesseract” refers to a four-dimension cube, a metaphor for the characters’ limitations in understanding the events that affect their lives.
10.“Baby Jesus Pawn Shop” by Lucia Orth—Set in Manila in the last years of the Marcos regime, the novel depicts the perspective of the average Filipino during that dark period. Both entertaining and controversial, the 2009 novel maps out the poverty, the crime syndicates and the corruption that rule Manila. Last but not least
11.Inferno is a 2013 mystery thriller novel by renowned American author Dan Brown and the fourth book in his Robert Langdon series, following Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol. The book was released on May 14, 2013 by Doubleday. It was number one on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction and Combined Print & E-book fiction for the first ten weeks of its release, and also remained on the list of E-book fiction for the first thirteen weeks of its release. In this novel, the author describes Manila as the Gates of Hell.. This is my number 1 favorite book as of today.
For more information,read: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/124671/novels-set-in-manila-featured-in-2013-book-fair#ixzz2ePxafUrp