Sunday, June 2, 2013

Monstress: Stories by Lysley Tenorio

The eight stories in Lysley Tenorio's debut collection, Monstress, are about outsiders in either the Philippines or California or both. Two of the stories have queer content and the book is shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award. (The winners will be announced tomorrow, June 3.)

"My brother went on national TV to prove he was a woman." Eric/Erica's sibling learns the true meaning of brotherhood from transgender folk in The Brothers.

Fortunado arrived in the USA in 1934 and rented the same San Francisco room for 43 years, all the while longing for the man next door, in Save the I-Hotel. "Fortunado understood how difficult love could be, how its possibility hinged on a delicate balance between complete anonymity and the undeniable need to be known."

The tone throughout the book is sad and melancholy. What I love most about Tenorio's work are his desperate characters, so humanly real, determined to overcome the hardships life has set before them.

No comments: