For this free event, M. Evelina Galang will discuss her first book of nonfiction with local author Almira Astudillo Gilles.
Lolas’ House tells the stories, in unprecedented detail, of sixteen surviving Filipino “comfort women.” During World War II more than 1,000 Filipino women and girls were kidnapped by the Imperial Japanese Army. They were taken from their homes, snatched from roadsides, and chased down in fields. Overall the Japanese forced 400,000 women across Asia into sexual slavery. M. Evelina Galang began researching these stories in the 1990s as 173 lolas, “grannies” in Tagalog, emerged after decades of shame and silence to demand recognition and justice from the Japanese government.
Galang enters into the lives of the surviving women at Lolas’ House, a community center for comfort women’s organizing in metro Manila. She accompanies them to the sites of their abduction and protests with them at the gates of the Japanese embassy. In Lolas’ House , each woman gives her testimony, even though the women relive their horror at each telling, they offer their stories so that no Filipina, no woman anywhere, should suffer wartime rape and torture again.
M. EVELINA GALANG has been named one of the 100 most influential Filipinas in the United States and at-large by the Filipina Women's Network. She is the author of the story collection Her Wild American Self, novels One Tribe, and Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery, and the editor of Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images. Among her numerous awards are the 2004 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Prize for the Novel and the 2007 Global Filipino Literary Award for One Tribe. Galang directs the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami and is core faculty and board member of Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA). For more information, please visit www.mevelinagalang.com.
Almira Astudillo Gilles, PhD, is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and is published in many genres. An ardent cultural heritage and nature conservationist, she is also a scientific affiliate in anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago and a research associate at the National Museum of the Philippines. Based in Chicago, Illinois, she often travels to the Philippines to join field research projects. Her latest publication, a book for youth called Hotspot, Cool Country: Biodiversity in the Philippines (Anvil Publishing, Manila, 2016), is a finalist for the Philippine National Book Award for Science.