These nine globe-trotting, unforgettable stories from Mia Alvar, a remarkable new literary talent, vividly give voice to the women and men of the Filipino diaspora. Here are exiles, emigrants, and wanderers uprooting their families from the Philippines to begin new lives in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere - and sometimes turning back again.
A pharmacist living in New York smuggles drugs to his ailing father in Manila, only to discover alarming truths about his family and his past. A Filipina teacher drawn to a special pupil finds, to her surprise, that she is questioning her own marriage. A college student leans on her brother, a laborer in Saudi Arabia, to support her writing ambitions, without realizing that his is the life truly made for fiction. And in the title story, a journalist and a nurse face an unspeakable trauma amid the political turmoil of the Philippines in the 1970s and '80s.
In the Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home. From teachers to housemaids, from mothers to sons, Alvar's powerful debut collection explores the universal experiences of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined. Deeply compassionate and richly felt, In the Country marks the emergence of a formidable new writer.
©2015 Mia Alvar (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Alvar is a writer to watch and remember. She is brilliant, and the stories are riveting and original. I will be teaching this book in my college literature class next spring.
Although I have a couple of Filipino friends, I know very little about the country and culture. I usually prefer novels to short stories, but decided on this title based on the glowing reviews, and because I wanted to challenge myself. I'm so glad I did so. Mia Alvar has a gift for finely drawn characters and writes stories which refer to major political events but foreground the impact on ordinary people. I'm keen to search out other Filipino authors as a result of this book.
Given book of short stories was special, or good, or only so-so, but typically I retain little about the individual stories themselves for longer than a few months. I doubt that will be the case with IN THE COUNTRY. It is a powerful collection of nine stories .
Definitely on the upper side.
The one about an aspiring writer (forgot the title). I liked how it explained that some people's true love are not always another person.
The two narrators ere good. However, as a Filipino-Canadian, I wished they would have hired somebody with Filipino descent as the main narrator. The narrator was good, but she didn't always get the accents right & mispronounced some of the Filipino words.
The writer. Second was the woman married to the the Activist in the last story.
Great storytelling overall. I hope she has other works coming.
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