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Manila Noir: Jessica Hagedorn, Gina Apostol, Ron Morales, and Allan Punzalan Isaac

ManilaNoir

Join editor Jessica Hagedorn (Toxicology, Dogeaters) and other contributors for an evening of mystery and murder from Manila, one of the most intense, congested, and overpopulated cities in the world and the ideal, torrid setting for the best in crime fiction. Also featuring an excerpt from the movie thriller Graceland by writer-director Ron Morales. Panel discussion with Gina Apostol, Jessica Hagedorn, and Ron Morales moderated by Allan Punzalan Isaac (Rutgers University). Followed by a book sale and signing.

Tickets: $10 members; $12 /seniors/ students with ID; $15 nonmembers

There are a limited number of free student tickets for NYU students (current ID required) available on a first come first served basis on the day of the program.

Co-sponsored by Ma-Yi Theater Company, Asian Cinevision, and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.

Gina Apostol was born in Manila and lives in New York City. She is a two-time winner of the Philippine National Book Award and has published three novels: Bibliolepsy, The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, and Gun Dealers’ Daughter. She has received fellowships from Civitella Ranieri, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Hawthornden Castle. Her stories have appeared in Massachusetts Review, Gettysburg Review, and Charlie Chan Is Dead 2.

Jessica Hagedorn (editor and moderator) was born in Manila and now lives in New York. A novelist, poet, and playwright, her published works include Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster Of Love, Danger and Beauty, and Dogeaters, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction. She also edited both volumes of the groundbreaking anthology, Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction. Visit her website at www.jessicahagedorn.net

Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book. Manila Noir presents brand-new stories by: Lourd De Veyra, Gina Apostol, Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo, F.H. Batacan, Jose Dalisay Jr., Eric Gamalinda, Jessica Hagedorn, Angelo Lacuesta, R. Zamora Linmark, Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Sabina Murray, Jonas Vitman, Marianne Villanueva, and Lysley Tenorio.

From the Introduction by Jessica Hagedorn:

Manila is not for the faint of heart. Built on water and reclaimed land, it’s an intense, congested, teeming megalopolis, the vital core of an urban network of sixteen cities and one municipality collectively known as Metro Manila. Population: over ten million and growing by the minute. Climate: tropical. Which means hot, humid, prone to torrential monsoon rains of biblical proportions.

I think of Manila as the ultimate femme fatale. Complicated and mysterious, with a tainted, painful past. She’s been invaded, plundered, raped, and pillaged, colonized for four hundred years by Spain and 50 years by the U.S., bombed and pretty much decimated by Japanese and American forces during an epic, month-long battle in 1945.

Yet somehow, and with no thanks to the corrupt politicians, the crime syndicates, and the indifferent rich who rule the roost, Manila bounces back. The people’s ability to endure, adapt, and forgive never ceases to amaze, whether it’s about rebuilding from the latest round of catastrophic flooding, or rebuilding from the ashes of a horrific world war, or the ashes of the brutal, twenty-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos . . .

Many years have passed since the end of the Marcos dictatorship. People are free to write and say what they want, yet nothing is different. The poor are still poor, the rich are still rich, and overseas workers toil in faraway places like Saudi Arabia, Israel, Germany, and Finland. Glaring inequities are a source of dark humor to many Filipinos, but really — just another day in the life . . .

Writers from the Americas and Europe are known for a certain style of noir fiction, but the rest of the world approaches the crime story from a culturally unique perspective. In Manila Noir we find that the genre is flexible enough to incorporate flamboyant emotion and the supernatural, along with the usual elements noir fans have come to expect.

Organizer: Asia Society
Venue: Asia Society
Address:
725 Park Ave (at 70th Street)
New York, NY 10021 United States
Phone: (212) 288-6400
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