Eye of the Fish: A Personal Archipelago by Luis H. Francia
The first of Luis H. Francia's books of non-fiction to be published in the United States, The Eye of the Fish paints a vivid and detailed portrait of the terror, beauty and insistent humanity of the Philippines of today. Cross-cutting between Francia's recollections of the Philippines of his youth and accounts of his travels through the archipelago over the past two decades, The Eye of the Fish takes us the length of the nation: from Batanes in the north to the Muslim Jolo and Marawi regions of the south, and from the rugged mountain hideaways of revolutionary freedom fighters to the well-appointed salons of the political and cultural elite. Painters and priests, island shamans and small-town politicians, cultists, feminists and infamous first ladies all make an appearance in this imaginative and idiosyncratic exploration of 'home.' Through their stories, and through his own memories of estrangement and acceptance in the Philippines and in the U.S., Francia reflects on the hybridity that is simultaneously the burden and the benediction of the Philippines--and of his own mestizo self.