Filipino American authors you should be reading!


Filipino American Literature has been booming with high output and high quality, in academic, literary, and in popular YA circles, including a Pulitzer Prize winner and a Newbery Award winner. Yet, Filipino American authors are often casually omitted from discussions on Asian American Literature.

If you want to know where to start with Filipino American Literature, Carlos Bulosan is it. His novel America is in the Heart is foundational work, the coming of age and political education of a young laborer during the Great Depression and WWII, originally published in 1946, kept in continuous publication since 1973 by University of Washington Press.

Here are ten contemporary Filipino American authors, the tip of the iceberg of our writing community that has proliferated and flourished since Bulosan.

 

1. MIA ALVAR

Mia Alvar’s short story and novella collection In the Country is global and historical in scope, still maintaining its focus on domestic spaces and the complexities of our relationships there. I especially appreciate that Alvar’s characters are never ethically clear cut.

 

2. GINA APOSTOL

Gina Apostol, acclaimed author of historical fiction, most notably, Gun Dealers’ Daughter and Insurrecto, the latter of which meticulously uncovers our contemporary lack of knowledge about the often forgotten Philippine American War.