5 Pinay Anthologies You Need to Read

Last week we honored five awesome Pinay scholars. This week, here is a list of five of the most groundbreaking Pinay anthologies. These anthologies have transformed how we think about Filipin@ literature and culture, and have inspired countless Pinays to become writers, researchers, and leaders in their communities.

1. Babaylan: An Anthology of Filipina and Filipina American Writers ed. by Nick Carbo and Eileen Tabios is the first international anthology of Filipina writers published in the United States. 60 Filipina/American writers contributed, showing the diasporic transformation and the ongoing strength of Filipina voices in literature.

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2. Body Politics: Essays on Cultural Representations of Women’s Bodies ed. by Odine De Guzman contains pieces written by prominent Filipina scholars, such as Joi Barrios, Neferti Tadiar, and Caroline Hau. These essays explore reproductive health, gender, social conditions in the Philippines, and challenges and interrogates how we think and perceive womxn’s bodies.

3. Forbidden Fruit: Women Write the Erotic ed. by Tina Cuyugan is a landmark anthology published in 1992, featuring writers such as Jessica Hagedorn, Marra Lanot, Cecilia Branard, and many more. In pages of poetry and prose, Filipinas reclaim, redefine, and challenge how we write and perceive the erotic, while representing the beauty and diversity of Filipina sexuality.

4. Pinay Power: Peminist Critical Theory ed. by Melinda L. de Jesus is the first anthology of its kind containing critical essays and narratives (de)constructing Pinay feminist thought from Pinays of different generations, backgrounds, and experiences. It is an exceptional scholarly achievement and expands our understanding of Filipina/American lives.

5. Walang Hiya: Literature Taking Risks Toward Liberatory Practice ed. by Lolan Buhain Sevilla and Roseli Ilano is the most recent Filipin@ literary anthology published, and includes poetry and short fiction by 32 emerging Filipin@/American writers. “Walang hiya” is a Filipin@ term traditionally used to convey shame. Filipin@s in this anthology have reclaimed “walang hiya” by examining the many taboos in Filipin@/American communities through their brave, honest, and revolutionary voices.

If you want to see a more comprehensive list of Pinay lit, please check out the Literature page!

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