Jessica Hagedorn - Books
Jessica Hagedorn - Dogeaters DOGEATERS

Welcome to Manila in the turbulent period of the Philippines’ late dictator. It is a world in which American pop culture and local Filipino tradition mix flamboyantly, and gossip, storytelling, and extravagant behavior thrive. A wildly disparate group of characters – from movie stars to waiters, from a young junkie to the richest man in the Philippines – become caught up in a spiral of events culminating in a beauty pageant, a film festival, and an assassination. In the center of this maelstrom is Rio, a feisty schoolgirl who will grow up to live in America and look back with longing on the land of her youth.

Dogeaters is a fine achievement on a very serious scale…This is the definitive novel of the encounter between the Philippines and America and their history of mutual illusion, antagonism, and ambiguous affection. It is a rich and satisfying work and certainly among the best novels I have read this year.”

— Robert Stone

“A fast, frequently hair-raising first novel, full of images and fantasies reflecting the author’s Philippine background, that maps the ruin at the heart of Philippine society in the last four decades.”

The New York Times Book Review

“Tour-de-force debut novel…A kaleidoscopic view of Manila society – high and low –

in which sad and sordid realities are tempered by humor and immense vitality…A spicy stew of a novel.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Hagedorn transcends social strata, gender, culture, and politics in this exuberant, witty, and telling portrait of Philippine society.”

The San Diego Union

Jessica Hagedorn - Dogeaters: The Play DOGEATERS: THE PLAY

Hagedorn has transformed her best-selling novel about the Philippines during the Marcos reign into an equally powerful theatrical piece that is a multi-layered, operatic tour de force.

“It’s always a treat when sitting in the theatre feels like travel, when the world onstage reaches out to include you, and suddenly you’re transported to another time and place. In Dogeaters, the journey is as titillating as a great vacation that leads you willingly into danger…”

— Bruce Weber, The New York Times

“Fierce, funny and politically uncompromising, Dogeaters is a rarity: a dangerous play which actually achieves its great ambitions…What kind of price does the average person pay while living under a dictatorship? What does naked power look like? How does humor and justice and extravagance and human love survive when the greatest terrorist in your own country is your own government? Dogeaters is a play of important answers and, more importantly, of the right unanswered questions.”

— Jose Rivera

“A stunning play of epic proportions…packed with wit, nostalgia, satire, irony, politics, poetry and the humanity of the turbulent and triumphant history of the Philippines…”

— Chay Yew

Jessica Hagedorn - The Gangster of Love The Gangster of Love

Rocky Rivera arrives in the U.S. from the Philippines the year that Jimi Hendrix dies. So begins a blazing coming-of-age story suffused with the tension of immigration that finds Rocky moving from the counterculture of 1960s San Francisco to the extravagant 1980s Manhattan music scene.

“Jessica Hagedorn is one of the best of a generation of writers who are making the American language new and who in the process are creating a New American Literature. The Gangster of Love, with edgy humor, verve, and a first-class literary gangster’s nerve, brilliantly chronicles that process.”

— Russell Banks

“The Gangster of Love is elegant and smart, deftly capturing the pain of leaving a country behind and the struggle to adapt to a new one.”


“Playful, inventive…Asks serious questions about family, exile, identity, about the problems of learning to operate in another language.”

The New York Times Book Review

Jessica Hagedorn - Dream Jungle Dream Jungle

In a Philippines of desperate beauty and rank corruption, two seemingly unrelated events occur: the discovery of an ancient lost tribe living in a remote mountainous area and the arrival of a celebrity-studded, American film crew, there to make an epic Vietnam War movie. But the lost tribe may be a clever hoax and the Hollywood movie seems doomed as the cast and crew continue to self-destruct in a cloud of drugs and egos. As the consequences of these events play out, four unforgettable characters – a wealthy, iconoclastic playboy; a woman ensnared in the sex industry; a Filipino American writer; and a jaded actor – find themselves irrevocably drawn together in this lavish, sensual portrait of a nation in crisis.

“As beautiful as summer, as unforgettable as heartbreak…Another luminous performance by a writer who soars from strength to strength.”

— Junot Diaz

“A richly intriguing study of the politics of flamboyant ambition and the politics of corruption.”

The Seattle Times

“Boldly links a Manila millionaire’s ‘discovery’ of a Stone Age tribe on Mindanao with a filmed re-creation of the Vietnam War on that same guerilla-plagued island six years later…Masterly…The result is her best book since Dogeaters.”

The New York Times Book Review

Jessica Hagedorn - Danger and Beauty Danger and Beauty
A Filipino artist comes of age in America in a dazzling collection of stories, poems, and autobiographical pieces, which includes the satirical novella, Pet Food. Hagedorn deepens and broadens her vision of the Asian American wanderer, about which Ntozake Shange wrote: “Her language leaps from fiery memories of Hendrix, soft reveries of Billie Holiday, and her own visceral attachments to Tagalog and Spanish in a Filipino way.”
Jessica Hagedorn - Manila Noir Manila Noir
One of the most populous cities in the world, Manila provides the ideal, torrid setting for noir. It’s where the rich rub shoulders with the poor, where five-star hotels coexist with informal settlements, where religious zeal coexists with superstition, where “hospitality” might be another word for prostitution, where politics is often synonymous with celebrity and corruption, where violence is nothing out of the ordinary and pretty much anything can be had for a price.

Original stories by Lourd De Veyra, Gina Apostol, Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo, F.H. Batacan, Jose Dalisay Jr., Eric Gamalinda, Jessica Hagedorn, Angelo Lacuesta, R. Zamora Linmark, Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Sabina Murray, Jonas Vitman, Marianne Villanueva, and Lysley Tenorio.

Jessica Hagedorn - Burning Heart: A Portrait of the Philippines Burning Heart:
A Portrait Of The Philippines

Marissa Roth’s unflinching photographs cover the importance of religion in the Philippines, as well as the social inequality, dire poverty, overpopulation, and ingrained class system that are all part of daily life. The poetry of Jessica Hagedorn reinforces these realities, but also shows that the simple pleasures we all experience as human beings – dancing, eating, rejoicing, laughing – are not absent from Philippine life. Together, these images and poetry are a deeply affecting vision of a country and its people.
Jessica Hagedorn - Charlie Chan is Dead: An Anthology Of Contemporary Asian American Fiction Charlie Chan Is Dead:
An Anthology Of Contemporary Asian American Fiction

From Jose Garcia Villa’s minimalist “Untitled Story,” first published in 1933, to Meena Alexander’s “Manhattan Music,” with its razor-sharp look at the hip downtown New York art scene of the troubled 1990s, the selections in this ground-breaking anthology sweep across the twentieth century and across the range of Asian American experience.
Jessica Hagedorn - Charlie Chan is Dead 2: At Home in the World Charlie Chan Is Dead 2:
At Home in the World

This updated anthology brings together forty-two fresh, fascinating voices in Asian American writing — from classics by Carlos Bulosan and Wakako Yamauchi to exciting new fiction from Akhil Sharma, Ruth Ozeki, Chang-Rae Lee, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Monique Truong. Sweeping in background and literary style, from pioneering writers to newly emerging voices from the Hmong and Korean communities, these exceptional works celebrate the full spectrum of Asian American experience and identities, transcending stereotypes and revealing the strength and vitality of Asian America today.

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