Dogeaters: A Novel

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David Fickling Books, Sky Over Dimas.


DLSU, Pantheon, Dream Jungle. Viking Books, Gangster of Love. Houghton Mifflin, The Chair. Cellar, The author returned to her native Philippines in to write the work, and it was published in when it received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. The novel reflects the eclectic life of its author whose experiences have included acting, singing, songwriting, and writing poetry, drama, and fiction.

For the most part, Dogeaters has been well received by critics and scholars who commend its experimental nature and innovative writing style. Jessica Hagedorn is a well-respected post-colonial author whose works present gender, social, and cultural themes. There are spirits in the trees, and you have to ask their permission as you walk by.

What struck me as incongruous in the Philippines is the transplantation of Christianity. It seems so specifically European to me. Asia is steeped in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, there Christianity feels like a cult …. We never questioned Catholicism. That somehow made sense. And these stupid pictures of the Devil with the tail. Which is really how it should be.

I never even think about it. There are Shiite Muslims who flagellate themselves. Religious ecstasy is something I can relate to, whereas my understanding of Protestantism seems to be as a very cold and distant religion. I like all the rituals.

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Oh, listen to me, conservatives would love me. I hate the Pope.

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Angel Shaw just shot a documentary in the Philippines: every year during holy week, this woman ritually crucifies herself. Angel went to her village for the procession which ends with the woman getting nailed to the cross. The only ones allowed to help her carry the wooden cross and nail her up are two twins who wear gold Centurion outfits—and wrap-around sunglasses and Nikes.

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Dogeaters is a novel written by Jessica Hagedorn and published in Hagedorn also adapted her novel into a play by the same name. Dogeaters, set in the. “As sharp and fast as a street boy's razor a rich small feast of a book.”—The New York Times Book Review Welcome to Manila in the turbulent period of the.

This woman, a virgin, must be 30 by now. And they think Jesus lives through her.

The people go bananas. All the women come and bathe her and dress her. What a culture! That, to me, is a certain madness and beauty, but it makes the culture so rich. That was a big discovery for me as a writer. I always had dreamed of writing a novel set in the Philippines—what I knew of it. But in what voice?

Jessica Hagedorn Discusses Her Introduction To Writing

I read Malaysian writers and Chinese writers and Indian writers until I stumbled upon the Latin American writers and I realized that that was it: the humor, the fatalism, the passion and irony …. So, when you ask, what was there …. There are mountain people who look almost Andean and have their own lifestyle.

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My grandmother is a Tagalog. Imelda is a Visayan.

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There are sections on the different racial characteristics of the tribes, there are columns: what they eat, height, hair texture, intelligence. But there is some really racist shit alongside the well-meaning anthropological information. I decided to not stick to hard facts because if you get too specific the timelessness is lost.

People will just think of Ferdinand and Imelda. For me, yeah, he symbolizes every man whose life is manipulated by others, who has no control of the forces, who is shamelessly exploited and conveniently used by those who are in power.

But I had a lot of fun creating that character, I love losers. They have so many possibilities and I relate to their tragedy, their inability to achieve anything. No matter how hard he tries, and he does, the waiter dreams of a better life, but nothing seems to work out for him. But if she had left and come back, she might have found him in the underground culture if she looked a little deeper. Was writing about the Philippines so many years later difficult?

Dogeaters: A Novel

And they run the house. I assume the Philippines were matriarchal before the Spaniards came over. She has this liberated mother and progressive father, yet she looks towards beauty contests, which are a big deal in the Philippines. Life there without a beauty contest would be unimaginable. She cries for months. Weeping is very Filipino, a Filipino art form. Did that have a particular meaning? Sportex has taken the place of the open air market which is still very vibrant but this is the modern day version.

My Sportex is based on a couple of big stores in the Philippines. They have clothes, restaurants where you can buy Filipino food and delicacies, and toys and bags and t-shirts, and everything is reasonably priced. Obviously, if you have no money it will be expensive, but everybody goes to Shoe Mart. Anybody can shop there. She was the missing link.