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Winner of the AWP Award for the Novel
In One Tribe, the death of Isabel Manalo’s unborn child stirs wide spread speculation in her small Midwestern suburb. Fed up with the noise of local tsismosas (gossips), she moves to Virginia Beach to teach myth and history to Filipino American youth. Isa Manalo walks into the chaos of drive by shootings, beauty pageants, and community politicking. At every turn she runs up against youth gangs who distrust her, community elders who disapprove of her loose outsider ways, and a Filipino boyfriend who accuses her of acting too white. Eventually Isa fights back. As Hurricane Emilia brews at the edge of the east coast, Isa opens her house to a local girl gang and nourishes their troubled spirits, instigating change sudden as the shift of tropical winds.
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M. EVELINA GALANG is the author of Her Wild American Self, a collection of short fiction. Galang is also the editor of Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images, which won ForeWord Reviews’s Gold Book of the Year Award for 2003. In 2001, she was the Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in the Philippines where she continued her work on Surviving Comfort Women of World War II for her collection of essays, Lolas’ House: Women Living with War. Galang teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami.From Booklist:
Galang infuses her novel about Filipino Americans with a sense of urgency by crafting it around the lives of a group of troubled teenagers struggling to find their way in both their ethnic and geographic communities. Their parents are determined to keep the teens tied to tradition and have enlisted the aid of drama teacher Isabel Manalo to provide instruction on Filipino history. But Isabel has her own demons and finds herself conflicted over how to address the needs of her students while respecting their parents' demands. As the teens become more embroiled in gang violence, she is forced to make tough decisions about how best to help them. Ultimately, she must show them how to craft their own solutions, just as she must find a way to discover her true self. The danger teens face and the concern Galang expresses are real, and she demands that readers acknowledge just how difficult it can be to straddle two ways of life while seeking your own place in the world. Colleen Mondor
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