Saturday, April 4, 2009

From Jose To Jose

From the AAWW website:

JOIN US FOR A SPECIAL reception in celebration of two heroes of Philippine literature and of the Philippine-American heritage and experience, and for a lively discussion and refreshment.

Noli Me Tangere is the great Philippine novel by Jose Rizal (1861-1896), a love story set during the Spanish occupation, and the story of a young gentleman who returns to the Philippines from Europe after his father's death. This powerful, moving novel and its sequel, El Filibusterismo were banned by Spanish authorities. Rizal was subsequently executed for sedition and is the best-known Philippine national hero.

Harold Augenbraum discusses Rizal's life and reads from his translation of the Noli, published by Penguin Classics, and then from his translation-in-progress of the Fili. Augenbraum is executive director of the National Book Foundation and a well known translator and critic.

Known as the "Pope of Greenwich Village," Jose Villa (1908-1997) was arguably the most important Asian American writer of the mid-twentieth century, as well as a colleague of modern literary giants such as W.H. Auden and Tennessee Williams. Edith Sitwell called him "a poet with a great, even an astounding, and perfectly original gift. . . The best of his poems are among the most beautifully written in our time."

Luis Francia, a well known writer and poet, discusses Villa and reads from his poetry, and will also read from his own book Eye of the Fish: A Personal Archipelago, a semiautobiographical account of life straddling American and Philippine culture which won the Pen Center Beyond the Margin Award and The Asian American Writers' Workshop Literary Award in 2002.

An informal discussion will be encouraged after the presentations. Wine and merienda hors d'oeuvres will be served.
Tickets: $25; students $15; VIP $50. For tickets click here.

Asian-American Writers' Workshop, 16 West 32nd Street, 10th Floor (between Broadway and 5th Avenue), New York, New York 10001, phone (212) 494-0061

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