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Talking to the Moon by Noel Alumit

Talking to the Moon

by Noel Alumit

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This novel is loosely based on the 1999 racially motivated shooting of Filipino-American postal worker Joseph Ileto and several people at a Jewish community center in the LA area. Alumit uses a fictionalized version of that event as a departure point for the story of a Filipino-American family (father, mother, adult gay son, and dead brother) where loss, spirituality, and sexuality are major themes. It's a compelling story, and the characters and the relationships between them are fairly well developed -- this was the book's strong point. Unfortunately, it could probably have gone through a couple more rounds of revision, because there are a lot of typos and minor errors (hopitilization instead of hospitalization? How did they miss that?). The writing could also have been a little more imaginative/less cliched at times. But I was pleasantly surprised by the parts set in the Philippines, which were more nuanced than I usually find in Filipino-American fiction. ( )
  teaandfire | Dec 31, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786716290, Paperback)

When Jory Lalaban, a Filipino postman, finds himself the target of a racially motivated shooting, he is forced to confront long buried memories of his life in the Philippines — how he came to abandon the priesthood to become a worshipper of the Moon; his youth in an orphanage after World War II; the devastating "curse" that forced him and his new bride, Belen, to flee the Philippines for the United States. The shooting makes international headlines, disturbing the quiet life of the Lalabans, a family forced to face its darkest fears. The reader is introduced to a cast of memorable characters like Emerson Lalaban, the son who talks to his dead brother on the phone, but fails to properly communicate his feelings to the man he loves; Michael, Emerson's Taiwanese boyfriend, who vows to never fall in love with an American again; the wife Belen Lalaban, a woman who hears the quirky voice of the Virgin Mary; and William, the racist gunman who demands to be heard. Inspired by an actual event, this funny, rich novel unflinchingly tackles the most explosive topics facing America today: race, religion, and sexuality. .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:11 -0400)

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