AMERICA IS NOT THE HEART: ELAINE CASTILLO
The Filipino poet and labour organiser Carlos Bulosan, whose family immigrated to America in the Great Depression, entitled his autobiographic novel America Is in the Heart. Elaine Castillo’s fine debut novel “America Is Not the Heart” is a portrait of Filipino diaspora, specifically the migration of three-generations of women to San Francisco’s Bay area – the not so picturesque part. Tender and funny, and marked by a kind of declamatory vernacular (and a smattering of the native Philippine languages of Tagalog, Ilocano and Pangasinan), Castillo ranges across civil strife and torture, social inequity, mystery, romance, and bisexuality. She joins Kiran Dass in conversation.