Recuerdos De Patay and Other Stories
Caroline Hau’s fiction exhibits those characteristics that have long marked her scholarship: luminous prose, keen observation, trenchant insight. Spanning some twenty-five years these stories also tell a tale of her own journey as literary artist and scholar; from the plight of a Chinese-Filipino woman during WWII grieving in silence the death of a husband to the sadly vain attempts of a turn-of-the-century Kapampangan artist to make a precarious living and to keep alive vestiges of a dying culture by painting the dead, we glimpse too a record of our own passing.
Caroline Hau, the sharpest and most illuminating contemporary critic of the necessary fictions of our modern nation, graces the Philippine literary scene with the remarkable gifts of her own creative work. Here are stories that gently, unexpectedly lead us into vivid encounters with the minor lives lived just beyond the official accounts and memories of our imagined community, lives otherwise easily missed in the clear daylight of quotidian affairs. Caroline Hau is stunning in her ability to invite the reader with the ease and levity of casual, witty speech, while quietly layering small gestures that powerfully limn the enigmatic edges of our familiar worlds as if to restore possibilities foreclosed by the certainties of history and public representation. In these empathetic, moving portraits of people we will long remember, she makes us sense hues of feeling and experience we may not have known or understood yet now find inexplicably binding, even as we are also made to feel the teeth marks of violence and untold loss that unsettle the rites of our collective belonging.
About the Author
Caroline S. Hau is Professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan. Born in Manila in 1969, she obtained her BA in English Studies (Imaginative Writing), summa cum laude, from the University of the Philippines, and her MA and PhD in English Language and Literature from Cornell University, where she received the Lauriston Sharp Prize for her dissertation on Philippine literature and nationalism. Her books include Necessary Fictions: Philippine Literature and the Nation, 1946–1980 (National Book Award for Literary Criticism, 2000); On the Subject of the Nation: Filipino Writings from the Margins, 1981 to 2004 (National Book Award for Literary Criticism, 2004); (editor) Intsik: An Anthology of Chinese Filipino Writing (National Book Award for the Anthology, 2000); (coeditor, with Kasian Tejapira) Traveling Nation-Makers: Transnational Flows and Movements in the Making of Modern Southeast Asia; (coauthor, with Takashi Shiraishi) How is China Changing East Asia?: The 21st-Century Regional System (in Japanese); and (coeditor, with Katrina P. Tuvera and Isabelita O. Reyes) Querida: An Anthology. This is her first book of fiction.