Literary Nonfiction. Asian American Studies. A deft, luminously intelligent examination of the Philippines through a glass darkly. Cross-cutting between Francia's recollections of the Philippines of his youth and accounts of his travels through the archipelago over the past two decades, EYE OF THE FISH paints a vivid and detailed portrait of the terror, beauty, and insistent humanity of the Philippines today. Francia's odyssey takes him the length of the nation, from Batanes in the north to the Muslim Jolo and Marawi regions of the south, and from the rugged mountain hideaways of revolutionary freedom fighters to the well-appointed salons of the political and cultural elite. Painters and priests, island shamans and small-town politicians, cultists, feminists, and infamous first ladies all make an appearance in this imaginative and idiosyncratic exploration of "home." Through their stories, and through his own memories of estrangement and acceptance in the Philippines and in the U.S., Francia reflects on the hybridity that is simultaneously the burden and the benediction of the Philippines—and of his own mestizo self.
Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA
uis H. Francia is a poet, journalist, and nonfiction writer. His poetry books include The Arctic Archipelago and Other Poems and MUSEUM OF ABSENCES. He is the author of Memories of Overdevelopment: Reviews and Essays of Two Decades; the editor of Brown River, White Ocean: An Anthology of Twentieth Century Philippine Literature in English; and co-editor, with Eric Gamalinda, of Flippin': Filipinos on America, and of Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream, 1899-1999, with Angel Velasco Shaw. The Beauty of Ghosts, poetry for the theater, premiered in 2007. He writes a monthly online column, "The Artist Abroad," for Manila's Daily Inquirer. Born and raised in Manila, he lives in New York City and teaches at New York University.