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In the Country by Mia Alvar pdf download

 

In the Country by Mia Alvar pdf download




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In the Country by Mia Alvar pdf download 


Details of In the Country by Mia Alvar Book

  • Book Name: In the Country
  • Authors: Mia Alvar
  • Pages: 304
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Publish Date: Jun 16, 2015
  • Language: English

Book review:


In the Country by Mia Alvar this book and yesterday, when I tried to make this review video, I was reading the back summary and I thought to myself; you know? I'm going to try something new. 

What I'm going to do is I'm going to read you the back summary and then I'm going to go through each part of the summary and talk about that aspect of the book. And I feel like that would allow me to give you a really holistic an accurate portrayal of what 

this book is about. Very quickly I will just read the back summary for you "In these nine globe-trotting tales, Mia Alvar gives voice to the women and men of The Philippines and it's diaspora from teachers to housemaids, from mothers sons

 Alvar's stories explore the universal experiences of lost, displacement and longing to connect across borders both real and imagined. In The Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home - and marks the arrival of a formidable new voice in literature. So, let's start, "in these nine globe-trotting tales" 

This is a collection of nine shots stories that focus on the experiences of Filipino people both in the Philippines and it's diaspora. Some of the stories are set in The Philippines while some are set in the United States and the Middle East. 

I was actually pretty surprised to learn that there was a huge Filipino presence in the middle east during the nineteen seventies. Apparently during some sort of political and economic up- heavy, 

a lot of them moved to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to work and send back money for their family, and I wouldn't have learned that if I hadn't read this book, so you see why reading diversely is important? "From teachers to housemaids from mothers to sons" 

So, this line, I think, really gives ode to the fact that this collection really does explore the experiences of not just one type of Filipino people but a whole bunch of people privileged and poor, male and female, mothers and sons. 

Hence there's, like, I would say some level of intersectional representation in these stories. One great example of this would actually be the story called The Virgin of Monte Ramon. This is a story about a rich boy who is born without legs and lives his life in a wheelchair and he sparkes up a friendship with a girl who is literally dirt poor. 


I love this story because here you had to people who are from two completely different worlds but they were still able to connect based on this shared experience of being rejected and being the outcasts. 

So I want to skip ahead to the part where it says "In The Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home." 

I think that is quite an important line because this entire book even though these stories are quite different all do have the same underlying themes. And all of those teams are somewhat based on this dynamic of questioning what is home is home the people that you love that you associate with? Is it the place that you are from? 

Is it the things that constitute your past experiences? Is it the place that you are now living in that you have made your own community of your own sense of comfort in. 

And I think this book really does show you that there's no rigid answer to that. I'm someone who has questioned this as well because even though I've lived in the same place my entire life with the same people I've always wanted like if i move somewhere else and settle somewhere else what they're still like... Would this still be home? Will that be home? 

Will be a combination of both? Is home the people that I love and that I'm with or his home the place that I'm from? Is it a combination of those two things? I don't know that was Alvar's intention when she was writing 

this book probably it was but even if it wasn't it definitely did come across that way. Going back to the part where it said "Alvar's stories explore the universal experiences of lost displacement and longing to connect across borders both real and imagined." First of all, loss. 

Loss and tragedy and death and grief play a very integral role in this book, not in all of these stories, but in quite a few of them the main character would have experienced some sort of loss in their life a person that they love died or even if they didn't die they changed or they don't see them that much anymore, and it really kind of fits into the theme of home because I said part of what constitutes the home is the people that you live with any people that you associate with and the people that you love. 

So when those people go or they change or they die part of your home has left. And it really kind of put the individual in a situation where even though they are home or where they have always been there not really home because part of what meant home to them is no longer there. 

And then with displacement, that makes a lot of sense especially for the stories that took place outside of the philippines and that's where I think the importance of past experiences come into play because in stories especially like Esmeralda about a woman who's living in New York, there was 

this real emphasis on the past and her reflection of her times in the Philippines and how she saved her brother and how her brother is a very important part of her memory and that kind of influences her behavior and her new environmental influences the way that she sees the world in 

a new environment. And it really does kind of show that way you come from will always be a part of you wherever you are. And that theme of displacement also comes with this sense of nostalgia, in all of the stories only ones that take place in the Philippines; 

this kind of longing for where you're originally from the way you want to be. This longing for home and your family and your friends. This longing for comfort in whatever new situation that you. "And the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined" This was a bit difficult for me to think about but when I read that line, 

I automatically just think about the fact that, first of all, the Filipino people who are living outside of the Philippines still have this connection with their homelands and also there is this connection with the people in the homelands to their relatives that are living in different countries. One of my favorite stories from the collection was called "

a contract overseas" that story, probably my favorite because it was the only one that actually made me cry in the end, it was about a girl whose brother moved to Saudi Arabia and he is supporting their family from there. She's very close with her brother and he actually kind of relays some of his experiences which she writes because 

she's a writer and she's trying to make up stories about life and Saudi Arabia as a Filipino immigrant. And the way that she connects with his experiences to me is really powerful because she hasn't experienced that she doesn't know what it's like but at the same time 

she's so fascinated with it to the point where she wants to write about it and she wants to express it through these fictional stories that are coming into her mind. "...and marks the arrival of a formidable new voice and literature." Mia Alvar's voice is definitely formidable - I don't know what the hell that means, but I'm sure it's a good thing. 

She doesn't tell all of the stories in the same way she does experiment with different writing techniques and structures but I think a good chunk of the stories were written in first person, some of them were written that person was written in second person that was the same Esmarelda story 

it was very interesting because I had never, prior to that, read anything in second person before. But one of the most fascinating stories was shadow families because that was written from a first-person perspective but from the first person perspective of a group of people at the same time.

So it's about this woman who all live in Bahrain and there's this new Filipino girl who comes into the neighborhood or into their circle and she's very vague, they don't know what to think of her and become very infatuated with her. 

So it's narrated by all of these women at the same time so they would say "WE did this" or "WE did that" instead of "I" or "me" and whenever one of these women were referred to individually, they were referred to as - in the third person, 

so I found that to be very interesting way of writing it, at first I was a bit confused but then after a while I ended up appreciating it because that story for me really did kind of emphasize the relevance of a collective or group perspective. And Alvar doesn't really just experiment with the writing styles and techniques she also tries different structures in the way that she writes. 

So, for example, "in the country" which is the title story of this collection. It was written away where you were given a present situation and you don't really know what happened and then there was the past so you're constantly going back and forth from the present of the past and as time progressed as the story progressed, 


you caught up to it and you understood exactly how what happened happened. And even though all of these stories are so different and unique in terms of the people the way that it's written in the structure the kind of situation that its revolve around the level of emotion invested our are still manages to make all of them give you the same feeling she still manages to weave those themes of loss and nostalgia and displacement to all of her stories and all different aspects of the characters lives. Overall, these stories were very powerful and they did stick with me: 

I'm still thinking about each and everyone of them. I think I will give this collection solid four or five stars, it just doesn't really feel like a five-star read for me it's also a debut so you can't really expect it to be 100-percent perfect but it is definitely one I think is still worth reading. 

If you're looking to get into some more short fiction or short story collections or you're looking to start getting into that this is one that I would highly recommend. 




 THANK YOU SO MUCH 



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