A luminous collection of heartbreaking, vivid, startling, and gloriously unique stories set amongst the Filipino-American communities of California and the Philippines, Monstress heralds the arrival of a breathtaking new talent on the literary scene: Lysley Tenorio.
Already the worthy recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writer's Award, and a Stegner Fellowship, Tenorio brilliantly explores the need to find connections, the melancholy of isolation, and the sometimes suffocating ties of family in tales that range from a California army base to a steamy moviehouse in Manilla, to the dangerous false glitter of Hollywood.
The style in all of these stories is very straightforward - no postmodern trickery or stories in verse - just standard narratives with exemplary execution. While the book has no overt, all-encompassing theme or recurring characters, all of the stories are like courses from the same meal - some sweet, some warm - that together make for a very satisfying experience.
(Reviewed by Beverly Melven).
Full Review (673 words).
Lysley Tenorio (pronounced LESS-lee ten-OH-rio) is the winner of several awards, including the Whiting Writers' Award, the Nelson Algren Award, and a Pushcart Prize - and fellowships from Phillip Exeter Academy, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the University of Wisconsin, and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. He earned his MFA at the University of Oregon, and received a National Endowment for the Arts in 2006. His stories have appeared in The Best New American Voices, Ploughshares, Zoetrope: All-Story, Manoa and The Atlantic. Born in the Philippines, Tenorio moved to the US as an infant. He lives in San Francisco and is on the faculty of St. Mary's College in California.
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