‘When the Rainbow Goddess Wept’ featured in Skokie, Illinois, cultural event

by Trade Marketing on February 28, 2011

Beginning March 5th through March 9th, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, author of When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, will be featured in a series of readings and discussions in Skokie, Illinois’ second annual Coming Together in Skokie event.

The celebration “highlights a different culture in [their] richly diverse community to build knowledge, awareness, and appreciation of different backgrounds and to weave [them] all more closely into the vibrant tapestry that is Skokie.” Manguerra Brainard will speak about her novel and her experiences both in the Philippines and America. Information for the discussion dates can be found at the author’s blog, Travels (and more) with Cecilia Brainard.

Set against the backdrop of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s brilliant novel weaves myth and legend together with the suffering and tragedies of the Filipino people. When nine-year-old Yvonne flees with her family into the jungle to join the resistance effort, she witnesses death and destruction on an almost unimaginable scale.

In the face of terror and despair, she finds comfort in the stories her people have passed down over generations. In particular, the legends of Bongkatolan, the Woman Warrior, and the merciful rainbow goddess offer her strength and hope. Yvonne becomes determined to preserve these ancient legends and to give voice to the epic she herself is living.

When the Rainbow Goddess Wept is an exploration of the collective wounding of the Filipino people and their heroic response. It shows us the Philippines through an insider’s eyes and brings to American audiences an unusual reading experience about a world that is utterly foreign and a child who is touchingly universal.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard was born in Cebu City, Philippines. Her published works include Woman with Horns and Other Stories and Philippine Woman in America. She is also the editor of the anthology Fiction by Filipinos in America and teaches creative writing at the Writers’ Program of UCLA Extension.


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