Anvil, 1995, hardcover, 157 pages ISBN 9712704599
Haunting and Enchanting
This second short story collection of Cecilia Brainard gathers seventeen enchanting stories grouped into four categories: Long Ago Tales, Stories from the ‘60s and ‘70s, Stories from the ‘90s, and American Tales. The author continues her exploration of Filipino and Filipino American experiences in this book of fiction.
“Although writing from outside the Philippines, Brainard uses the Philippines and Filipinos as ‘either the original or terminal reference point.’ This narrative strategy, which Oscar Campomanes argues characterizes literature written by Filipinos in the U.S. or Filipino Americans, opposed to “ethnic” literature, which addresses immigration and settlement. It is best described, Campomanes suggests, as a literature of “exile and emergence” (Discrepant Histories: Translocal Essays on Filipino Cultures, ed. Vicente L. Rafael.) Brainard enriches the conventional understanding of exile by applying the concept to Filipino experience in the Philipines. She (Cecilia Brainard) is thereby able to show the cultural and social issues that a Filipino/a faces while in exile are universal Filipino experiences.” (Les Adler for Pilipinas)
“The stories of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard tell of voyages the heart could have taken, of places haunted by old memories like ghosts lingering under an ancient mango tree, of times seemingly irretrievable but always there at the farthest end of the thread of remembering. Wherever the characters of her tales have wandered, one finds them at some point of their journey redeeming fragments of their lost selves and making sense of the maze through which we all pass.” (Marjorie M. Evasco, Poet)