Looking for your next quarantine read? Here is a roundup of several books — from fiction to food — by Filipino/a American authors that hit shelves in the new year or are slated to be released later in 2021.
“The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata” by Gina Apostol (Jan. 2021, Soho Press)
Award-winning writer Gina Apostol’s novel “The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata” — for which she won her second Philippine National Book Award in 2010 — has been rereleased in the United States by Soho Press. It’s structured as a memoir by Raymundo Mata, a half-blind bookworm and revolutionary, who narrates his childhood, his education in Manila, his love affairs, and his discovery of writer and fellow revolutionary, Jose Rizal. The 19th-century story features footnotes from three fiercely quarrelsome and comic voices: a nationalist editor, a neo-Freudian psychoanalyst critic, and a translator, Mimi C. Magsalin.
Dr. Kevin Nadal, a New York-based psychology professor, queer activist and author, has published the second edition of “Filipino American Psychology,” a resource for understanding the mental health of the second-largest Asian American group and fast-growing demographic. From exploring cultural values to historic traumas, Nadal’s text is a must-read guide for working with the community and a conversation starter to help decrease mental health stigma across generations.
“With You” by Michelle Lopez Clark (March 2021, Mascot Books)
Michelle Lopez Clark, a psychotherapist from Southern California, makes her debut as an author with a children’s picture book about the loving relationship with dogs. “With You” is a relatable story of rhymes and representation that promotes the value of fostering an emotional connection with children.
“Cook Real Hawai’i” by Sheldon Simeon (March 2021, Clarkson Potter)
Two-time “Top Chef” finalist and three-time James Beard Award nominee Sheldon Simeon takes at-home cooks at any skill level on a tasteful journey through Hawai’i and the influences that shape its culinary traditions in his forthcoming cookbook. Simeon, the chef and owner of two restaurants in Maui, shares 100 uncomplicated recipes from wok-fried poke to charred huli-huli chicken while providing poignant stories and historical accounts.
“In a Book Club Far Away” by Tif Marcelo (April 2021, Gallery Books)
Tif Marcelo, a former Army nurse turned best-selling author, offers a look into the dynamics of a military family with her latest novel, “In a Book Club Far Away.” The story follows three Army wives who bond during a book club, but must later overcome their differences when one of them is desperate for help.
“Maybe, Maybe Marisol Rainey” by Erin Entrada Kelly (May 2021, Greenwillow Books)
Newbery Medal-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly is set to release an illustrated novel loosely based on her biracial identity as a Filipina American growing up in a small Louisiana town. “Maybe, Maybe Marisol Rainey” introduces readers to Marisol, an imaginative, yet cautious girl who learns how to overcome her fears. With witty humor and nuanced childhood friendships, it’s a must-read for early elementary grade students.
“When Lola Visits” by Michelle Sterling (May 2021, Katherine Tegen Books)
Inspired by childhood summers with her lola (grandmother) visiting from the Philippines, author Michelle Sterling and illustrator Aaron Asis come together for a children’s picture book that captures this special lola-apo bond. Expect pages that bring the sights and senses as well as traditions that mark the Filipino American experience.
“Manifest Technique: Hip Hop, Empire, and Visionary Filipino American Culture” by Mark R. Villegas (July 2021, University of Illinois Press)
From DJs to successful artists like Apl.de.Ap of the Black Eyed Peas, Filipino Americans have undoubtedly made their imprint on hip hop. But in “Manifest Technique,” Mark R. Villegas — an assistant professor of American studies at Franklin & Marshall College — takes the genre’s significance to the Fil-Am community within the context of decolonization and racial identity.
“Filipinx Cookbook” by Angela Dimayuga (Oct. 2021, Abrams)
Chef Angela Dimayuga — a James Beard Award nominee for Rising Star Chef who previously served as creative director of food and culture at the Standard hotels — will release her debut cookbook in time for Fil-Am History Month. “Filipinx” is filled with more than 100 deeply personal dishes and stories that trace “how she learned to cook from her mother in Southern California and became a classically trained chef of French cooking before finally learning to love to cook food from the Philippines.”