Asian American Short Story Writers: An A-to-Z Guide

By Guiyou Huang | Go to book overview

CARLOS BULOSAN (1911-1956)

Aiping Zhang


♦ BIOGRAPHY

A Filipino American short story writer, novelist, poet, and labor activist, Carlos Bulosan was born in Binalonan, Pangasinan, Philippines on November 24, 1913 (though his baptismal papers list November 2, 1911 as the birth date). The son of a farmer, Bulosan grew up in poverty. At the age of seventeen, he went aboard a ship for America and arrived in Seattle on July 22, 1930.

Despite his lack of English proficiency and money, Bulosan came with a belief that he would have a better life in America. The shocking discovery of the harsh realities, such as inequality, injustice, and hatred due to racial discrimination, did not diminish the great expectations in his heart. To survive, he worked at all kinds of menial jobs for years, from hotels and produce farms up and down the West Coast to the Alaskan fish canneries. In his constant search for employment, he encountered numerous obstacles and brutalities that were commonly directed at immigrants like him during those years and learned firsthand about the paradoxical nature of America, the “land of opportunity.”

His years of experience as a farm worker led him to the role of a labor activist during the 1930s, mobilizing his fellow workers into unions against labor exploitation, wage cuts, unbearable working conditions, and racist violence against immigrants. The hardship in his life and the intense involvement with the labor movement severely affected his health. In 1936, he had several lung operations for tuberculosis at Los Angeles County Hospital and spent two years in a convalescent ward. While recuperating from his illness, Bulosan, who had only three years of formal schooling in the Philippines, became an avid reader and gradually educated himself into one of the first Filipino writers to

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Asian American Short Story Writers: An A-to-Z Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction - The Asian American Short Story—the Cases of Sui Sin Far, Yamamoto, and Penaranda xiii
  • Peter Bacho (1950-) 1
  • Himani Bannerji (1942-) 5
  • Susham Bedi (1945-) 11
  • Cecilia Manguerra Brainard (1947-) 17
  • Carlos Bulosan (1911-1956) 23
  • Jeffery Paul Chan (1942-) 31
  • G.S.Sharat Chandra (1938-2000) 39
  • Diana Chang (1934-) 45
  • Frank Chin (1940-) 51
  • Susan Choi (1969-) 61
  • Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (1956-) 65
  • Sui Sin Far (Edith Maude Eaton) (1865-1914) 73
  • Winnifred Eaton (1875-1954) 85
  • Jessica Hagedorn (1949-) 93
  • Gish Jen (1956-) 101
  • Ha Jin (1956-) 109
  • Lonny Kaneko (1939-) 115
  • Alex Kuo (1939-) 119
  • Jhumpa Lahiri (1967-) 125
  • Andrew Lam (1963-) 135
  • Evelyn Lau (1971-) 141
  • Chang-Rae Lee (1965-) 147
  • Don Lee (1959-) 151
  • Monfoon Leong (1916-1964) 155
  • Russell Leong (1950-) 159
  • Shirley Geok-Lin Lim (1944-) 167
  • David Wong Louie (1954-) 173
  • Darrell H.Y.Lum (1950-) 177
  • Rohinton Mistry (1952-) 183
  • Shani Mootoo (1958-) 189
  • Toshio Mori (1910-1980) 195
  • Bharati Mukherjee (1940-) 203
  • Fae Myenne Ng (1956-) 215
  • Hualing Nieh (1925-) 225
  • Susan Nunes (1943-) 237
  • Gary Pak (1952-) 243
  • Ty Pak (1938-) 251
  • Nahid Rachlin (1947-) 257
  • Raja Rao (1908-) 263
  • Patsy Sumie Saiki (1915-) 269
  • Bienvenido N. Santos (1911-1996) 273
  • Kathleen Tyau (1947-) 281
  • JosÉ Garcia Villa (1908-1997) 287
  • Sylvia A.Watanabe (1953-) 295
  • Hisaye Yamamoto (Desoto) (1921-) 303
  • Lois-Ann Yamanaka (1961-) 317
  • Karen Tei Yamashita (1951-) 327
  • Wakako Yamauchi (1924-) 333
  • John Yau (1950-) 337
  • Selected Bibliography 345
  • Index 349
  • About the Editor and Contributors 355
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