Available now from http://www.amazon.com.au $17.00 (book) $6.00 (kindle). ISBN 9780645312515.
‘Give Us This Day: Growing Up Filipino Stories’ is just that. It tells what it is like growing up in that Southeast Asian country.
There are scenes of climbing coconut trees, having spider-fights with friends, riding a carabao, catching mudfish in the rice fields, having parents who work overseas, moving to another country, etc.
The stories are taken from previous books, anthologies journals and magazines in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines where the stories first appeared. They now found a home in this new collection.
Ms Lee Finn from the Brisbane Literary Writers Group comments that the stories deal with hardship, but counterbalanced with ingenuity, courage, persistence and, of course, plenty of humour.
This work of fiction includes themes that deal with experiences and realities such as overcoming poverty, fighting for the environment, standing up for the rights of the Indigenous community, questioning stereotypes, coming to terms with gay identity, realising the powerful effects of nostalgia, etc.
Cybelle Diones from SBS Filipino Radio comments: “Erwin’s stories really speak of truth and are very relatable among Filipinos.”
She adds that the stories bring a lot of memories especially when you grew up in the Philippines.
“His characters are always too strong to settle for victim mentality, and what I got from all the stories was that people from the Philippines are like that,” Finn says.
“They are great problem solvers no matter what you throw at them they seem to be able to turn it around and make the most of it.”
Finn considers this as “a rare collection of short stories because it is a very thought-provoking book yet a very comfortable and a pleasure to read.”
It is suitable for young adults 16+ readers.
This book is now available from Amazon.com as paperback and ebook: Click here.