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.
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by Jade Chang
by Jim Gavin
by Brad Wilson
by Flavio Martins
by Matt Tenney, Tim Gard
by Jeff Brown, Mark Fenske, Liz Neporent
by Olivia Gates
by Carolyn Keene
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by Andrew Clements
"Using two narrators for this collection gives these short stories vocal variety as they alternate between female and male characters. Nancy Wu and Don Castro recount the trials and tribulations of expatriate Filipinos who are returning home to their impoverished families. The narrators' voices are husky with the emotion of first-person ruminations. The listener will be drawn into the complexity of lives that balance poverty and luxury. Both narrators are subdued, almost quiet; this listener's attention might have wandered if the characters were not so compelling. Abusive fathers, mentally challenged children, grinding poverty--all of these dark topics come together in this wide range of short stories. M.R. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"
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