A 1946 Filipino American social classic about the United States in the 1930s from the perspective of a Filipino migrant laborer who endures racial violence and struggles with the paradox of the American dream, with a foreword by novelist Elaine Castillo
Poet, essayist, novelist, fiction writer and labor organizer, Carlos Bulosan (1911-1956) wrote one of the most influential working class literary classics about the U.S. pre-World War II, a period and setting similar to that of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and Cannery Row. Bulosan's semi-autobiographical novel America is in the Heart begins with the narrator's rural childhood in the Philippines and the struggles of land-poor peasant families affected by US imperialism after the Spanish American War of the late 1890s. Carlos's experiences with other Filipino migrant laborers, who endured intense racial abuse in the fields, orchards, towns, cities and canneries of California and the Pacific Northwest in the 1930s, reexamine the ideals of the American dream. Bulosan was one of the most important 20th century social critics with his deeply moving account of what it was like to be criminalized in the U.S. as a Filipino migrant drawn to the ideals of what America symbolized and committed to social justice for all marginalized groups.
Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with these three Penguin Classics:
America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan (9780143134039) East Goes West by Younghill Kang (9780143134305) The Hanging on Union Square by H. T. Tsiang (9780143134022)
About the Author
Carlos Bulosan (1911-1956), born in Binalonan, Pangasinan, under U.S. colonial occupation of the Philippines, arrived in the United States at the start of the Great Depression as part of a generation of Filipino migrant workers. From 1930 to 1956, Bulosan developed into a leading Filipino writer in the United States committed to social justice. Bulosan established his position as a major Filipino writer with The Laughter of My Father (1944) and America Is in the Heart (1946). An iconic figure of Filipino American literature, Bulosan was recovered by the Asian American movement and the Philippine national sovereignty movement of the 1970s. A pioneering Filipino writer-activist in the United States, Bulosan is an iconic figure of Filipino American literature and Filipino American labor history.
Elaine Castillo was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. America Is Not the Heart is her first novel, and was long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.
E. San Juan, Jr. is an internationally renowned literary and cultural critic, and was chair of the Department of Comparative American Cultures, Washington State University. He is currently fellow of the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas.
Jeffrey Arellano Cabusao is an associate professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.