This previously unpublished novel by the author of America Is in the Heart dramatizes the resourcefulness, cunning, and pain of the Filipino peasants' struggle against a heritage of colonization, first by Spain and later by the United States. Set during the political upheavals of the 1940s and 1950s, seven underground rebels—old and young, male and female, intellectual and peasant—set off across the Philippine countryside fueled by their outrage over continued U.S. domination. They combat both internal foes from their past memories and experiences and visible enemies who view their clandestine work as a destructive force of communism. As they confront danger and face physical and emotional sacrifices along the way, their sense of mission conveys a profound vision of democracy and self-determination.
Bulosan's exceptional narrative, at once an allegorical and a psychological critique of the West's racism and delusion of supremacy, portrays an armed rebellion that can represent many Third World peoples. Literary and political, Bulosan's work embodies his personal dream of equality and freedom. When asked what impelled him to write, Bulosan replied, "To give literate voices to the voiceless...to translate the desires and aspirations of the whole Filipino people in the Philippines and abroad in terms relevant to contemporary history."
"(A) stunning tale of Filipino resistance fighters."
"(T)he novel has a cumulative power. Editor San Juan...contributes a 36-page introduction that discusses Bulosan's life, writings, and philosophy as well as the historical background to the novel."
"The publication of Carlos Bulosan's posthumously discovered The Cry and the Dedication, along with the masterful Introduction by E. San Juan, Jr., is a signal event in the history of cultural radicalism.
"Bulosan was previously recognized as a prophetic writer, an artisan of lush and evocative prose who felicitously blended traditional class struggle and anti-racist traditions of the 1930s with post-World War II themes of national liberation in the colonized world. But the appearance of this nearly 'lost' novel of guerrilla warfare in the Philippines extends his achievement in fresh and unexpected ways. With its Dantesque journey motif and Eliotic theme of sexual wounding, The Cry and the Dedication recalls works as diverse as Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls and Kenneth Patchen's The Journey of Albion Moonlight, at the same time as it bears the marks of Philippine national culture.
"Written against the descending night of the McCarthyite witch-hunt, The Cry and the Dedication is a haunting allegory of search, struggle and redemption. It is high testimony to the power of the revolutionary imagination when empowered by the exile's dream of personal return and liberation of the homeland."
—Alan Wald, University of Michigan
Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi, David Palumbo-Liu, K. Scott Wong and Linda Trinh Võ, series editors Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.