Dark Blue Suit and Other Stories

Front Cover
University of Washington Press, 1997 - Fiction - 149 pages
2 Reviews
Set in Seattle from the 1950s to the present, Dark Blue Suit depicts the lives of two groups: Filipino immigrant pioneers, the Manong generation who arrived on the Pacific Coast during the 1920s and 1930s, and their American-born children. Although narrated as fiction, the stories - their landmarks, activities, settings, and events - are grounded in historical fact.
The book opens with the annual spring dispatch, by the Seattle-based Filipino union, of thousands of Filipino workers to the Alaska salmon canneries. We meet characters who reappear throughout the stories: Vince, the tough but charming union foreman, his American-born son Buddy, and many others who age and change in ironic counterpoint to persistent themes of loyalty, fierce ethnic pride, and a willingness to struggle against hostile forces in society.
We encounter the inevitable aging and passing of the Manong generation, but we sense as well the arrival of its vision. Babies are born. The migrant fisheries worker gets a nine-to-five job, and his children go to college. The conclusion builds to a quiet power that is essentially elegiac; an era closes, but the voices of the older generation are shouldered by the younger, to keep the history, to retell the stories, and to pay homage.

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Dark blue suit and other stories

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This series of tightly knit tales, which reads remarkably like a novel, is rooted firmly in the Filipino community of Seattle. The stories introduce readers to the community's beginnings in the 1920s ... Read full review

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Hello Mr. Bacho,
I came across this book clearly by coincidence. My Grand daughter a student and part time employee here at Delta City college was one day helping her boss clear out some books. She
asked Ashlee my grand daughter if she wanted any to look through them and take what she wanted. To make a long story short knowing I like to read about the old generation of Filipino's who migrated to America..she asked if I would like to read this one book she picked out.( Dark Blue Suit)
One day I started to read it. I read a couple of page's and decided I wanted a cup of coffee. I went into the kitchen taking the book along put it on the table and preceded to pour my coffee. Looking down at the front page of the book I noticed a faint picture of some men and I took a closer look. Suddenly i said to my self wow that looks like Pop. Pop's was my step father well know to us as Pop. My daughter was actually like a daughter he never had, so she grew up from an infant as his grand daughter. Ashlee where the book came from is in fact her daughter. I said wow what a coincidence that Ashlee got into her possession this book with her Great grand father's picture on it and being written and publish some distance away. Wow how excited I was, I called my daughter and had her come and verify that the picture indeed it is Pop's. She has the same exact picture in which every one is numbered and the back of the picture has every one's names' on it. WHAT a coincidence.
Being excited I just wanted to touch down with you. I am still reading it and enjoy it even more just knowing my Step dad's picture is on it and the story behind getting this book. I fill like Pop's wanted my daughter and Grand daughter to have it. My Step father's name was Fabian D. Cantalita after serving in the Army and working for the Government for 30 years died from Leukemia.
Thanks Again
Janifer (Gulde) Burgos
Stockton, Ca.

References to this book

About the author (1997)

Botan (pseud. Supa Sirising) is a native of Bangkok, born of Chinese parents. She has published more than ten novels, most of which reflect women’s and children’s perspectives. Susan Fulop Kepner has been translating Thai literature for more than 30 years, including A Child of the Northeast by Kampoon Boontawee and the anthology A Lioness in Bloom.

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