Veronica Monteslives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three daughters. She was the 2005 winner of the Ivy Terasaka Short Story Competition, and her work has appeared in the literary journals Bamboo Ridge, Prism International, and Maganda, as well as in several anthologies including Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, Growing up Filipino, and Going Home to a Landscape: Writings by Filipinas. Her essays have appeared in Filipinas Magazine and online as McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. She maintains a blog, Nesting Ground, at vmontes.blogspot.com.
A Landmark novel, Angelica's Daughters, a Dugtungan novel, is a collaborative work written by five established Pilipino and Pilipino-American women writers. The five authors came from different countries during the creation of the novel: Montes and Cecilia Manguerra Brainard from California, Susan Evangelista and Erma Cuizon from the Philippines, and Nadine Sarreal from Singapore. The five writers have been members of an Internet writing group since 2003. After a few years of writing exercises, the group sought greater challenges and decided to write a dugtungan novel. A dugtungan novel is a genre of Tagalog novel popular in the 20th century, in which each group writer creates a chapter and hands it off to the next, who writes another chapter without direction. The result is a novel about a diverse group of modern Pilipinas – among them a PilAm whose marriage has disintegrated, an even younger Cebuana involved in a forbidden love affair, and a ballroom dancing Lola – who share a common ancestor, Angelica.
The novel has received praise from noted Pilipino critic, Isagani Cruz, who says: “This tale of two women living a century apart (and the women and men in their lives) told sequentially by five women is truly an ensemble performance worth a standing ovation.”
*Write-up prepared by Philippine Expressions Bookshop for Author's Night in Los Angeles.