Delve and savor literature by Pinay writers in time for this year's Third Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco (October 2nd-4th). Women have been writing amazing books about Filipino life and culture for as long as we can remember, and it makes no sense that our attentions be skewed so heavily in favor of the men’s. For the sake of those who need a greater push into spotlight, FilipiKNOW.net features 10 Filipino women writers whose works you definitely have to read.
1. Barbara Jane Reyes- Diwata (Pictured Above)
A poet with a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA from San Francisco State University, Reyes is the author of three poetry collections: Gravities of Center (2003), Diwata (2010), and Poeta en San Francisco (2005) which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.
The Poetry Foundation says her work “explores a variety of cultural, historical, and geographical perspectives,” and that her winning collection Poeta “employs English, Spanish, and Tagalog to create a devastating portrait of her hometown.”
2. Catherine Ceniza Choy - Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History
Born in 1969, Choy is a professor and chair of the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She has written two books on Filipino diasporic history: Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History (2003) and Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America (2013). The latter looks at the complex politics and relationships that compel Americans to adopt Asian children from abroad.
She created a stir with her first book, Empire of Care, which won her the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award in 2003; an Honorable Mention from the American Studies Association Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize in 2004; and the History Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies in 2005.
3. Conchitina Cruz - Dark Hours
Cruz received her MFA in Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and currently teaches creative writing and comparative literature at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
She was the recipient of both the Fulbright and Rockefeller Foundation grants; Palanca Awards in 1996 and 2001; and a Philippine National Book Award in 2006.
She’s written four books so far, which include Dark Hours (UP Press, 2005), elsewhere held and lingered (High Chair, 2008), and (together with Adam David and Delilah Aguilar), A Catalogue of Clothes for Sale from the Closet of Christine Abella—perpetual student, ukay fan, and compulsive traveler (The Youth and Beauty Brigade, 2012).