Philippine Speculative Fiction, v. III: Story # 1

Below is an excerpt from a story by Apol Lejano-Massebieu (What an exceedingly cool name — !!): “Pedro Diyego’s Homecoming.” It’s the first story in Philippine Speculative Fiction III, edited by Dean Alfar and Nikki Alfar :

Pedro Diyego was born with wings on his feet. They grew from the bones in his ankles and spread out in a fan past his heel, plumes of brown flecked with white that made it impossible for him to don footwear.

His mother Mereditha tried to remove the feathers when Pedro was still a child. They were a family of some means, owning a decent-sized tract of land and their own rice mill, so that she didn’t think it was proper to have her only son going around barefoot like the farmers’ children. But how little Pedro shrieked and cried, as with eyebrow tweezers his mother yanked! And he did it for so long and so loudly that the chickens in their wooden coop in the backyard stopped laying eggs for at least a week.

Now perhaps in keeping with popular ideas of fairies and angels, you would expect that a child born with wings be delicate. Then you would be disappointed looking at Pedro. He was what was euphemistically called a big-boned child.

Part of it had to do with genes, as Pedro did have a fair amount of resemblance to his father, a beefy Batangueño; but it has to be admitted that much of the fat that rolled around his belly got there by way of his mouth.

You see, delicate did not also apply to Pedro’s nature. He wasn’t a quiet, introspective kind of child. On the contrary, he had such zest for life! He played rough and tumble. He sang with gusto even if he rarely knew the lyrics and was often out of tune. He laughed in that head-thrown-back, openmouthed manner you only ever see in the very confident.

Coming Soon To a Bookstore Near You

Emily Lawsin (contributor to Going Home to a Landscape) sent self this info a few days ago (My bad, Emily, for only posting now. Wishing you and your husband the best success with the book!):

Subject: The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black & Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles

by Scott Kurashige

Professor Kurashige teaches U.S. history, Asian American studies, & African American studies at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is an alumnus of the UCLA Department of History PhD program & Asian American Studies Master of Arts program.

In The Shifting Grounds of Race, Scott Kurashige highlights the role African Americans and Japanese Americans played in the social and political struggles that remade twentieth-century Los Angeles. Linking paradigmatic events like Japanese American internment and the Black civil rights movement, Kurashige explores the multiethnic dimensions of segregation and integration. Racism and sprawl shaped the dominant image of Los Angeles as a “white city.” But they simultaneously fostered a shared oppositional consciousness among Black and Japanese Americans living as neighbors within diverse urban communities.

Kurashige demonstrates why African Americans and Japanese Americans joined forces in the battle against discrimination and why the trajectories of the two groups diverged. Connecting local developments to national and international concerns, he reveals how critical shifts in postwar politics were shaped by a multiracial discourse that promoted the acceptance of Japanese Americans as a “model minority” while binding African Americans to the social ills underlying the 1965 Watts Rebellion. Multicultural Los Angeles ultimately encompassed both the new prosperity arising from transpacific commerce and the enduring problem of race and class divisions. This book adds new depth and complexity to our understanding of the “urban crisis” and offers a window into America’s multiethnic future.

* * * *

Dear Pamilya/Family & Kaibigans/Friends,

Scott’s book is finally out! We will be in Southern California for our “Spring” Break and his book signings, so if you’re in the area, we hope to see you:

Saturday, March 1, 2PM @ Southern California Library
6120 S. Vermont Avenue (near Slauson)

Please tell anyone else who might be interested too.

Here’s a link to Scott’s book on the Princeton Press website, where you can download the Introduction:

Maraming Salamat/Doomo Arigato/Mahalo/Many Thanks
for all your support in making this happen.

Iain Kelly

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