Cecilia Manguerra Brainard has written an ambitious novel of forbidden
love. Set against the turbulent history of East Asia in the twentieth
century and by turns erotic and tragic, Magdalena vividly depicts three
generations of strong Filipino women.
I have been looking for a good story about the war. N.V.M. Gonzalez,
author of The Bread of Salt and Other Stories (upon reading "Winning
Hearts and Minds," one chapter of Magdalena.) With her second novel,
Magdalena, Cecilia Brainard adds new portraits to the gallery in
Philippine literature. She has always had a strong sense of place. Here,
she provides an inner landscape as well. Together, these provide the coordinates
for the family secrets that bind the characters as securely as bloodlines.
In this novel, Brainard blends a series of multiple perspectives to create
a polyphony of voices that enacts Philippine society before and during
the Second World War. The narrative is a nuanced vision of the workings
of culture, social class, obligation and the Filipino personality.
About Brainar's first novel When the Rainbow Goddess Wept
-- The strengthening of the national spirit; the loss of innocence in
two generations -- these themes are explored by the author, who was born
in the Philippines, with persuasive conviction and stark realism.
A fast-paced, sensitively written first novel about the psychological
damage war wreaks, seen through the eyes of an intelligent, resilient
young girl . . . Brainard's appealing characters are larger-than-life
people who change before our eyes, yet remain utterly convincing.
Stories of war are perhaps most compelling when told through the eyes
of children, whose innocence is always so tragically incongruous to the
adult madness that rages around them.
ISBN:1-891386-29-8, 164 pgs, $18.95
|Site Design by
|Copyright 2006. All Rights Reserved.
All content and images property of Plain View Press.