As the first international anthology of Filipina writers published in the United States, Babaylan
reflects the complex history of a people whose roots have stretched to both sides of the globe. The voices represented in this collection offer a broad and varied perspective on the Filipina writer whose diasporic existence is a living, breathing bridge, not only between countries but also generations, as strong voices from the past fuel realities of the future. As a result, vibrant and original art, the trademark of Filipina writers perpetually emerges and evolves. With contributions from over 60 writers-both Filipina and Filipina American-Babaylan
provides readers with a comprehensive view of a growing and vibrant transnational literary culture. Challenging. Innovative. Fierce and reflective. Somber and funny. No one word can capture the extraordinary range of this collection.
"The tradition of women's writing in the Philippines can be traced back to the Pre-Hispanic Era of the archipelago where in certain communities priestess-poets called babaylan (Bisayan) and catalonan (Tagalog) held sway in the spiritual and ritualistic lives of the people. These women provided healing, wisdom and direction with morality stories, myths, poems, prayers, and chants... The closing decade of this century has brought change, a new horizon, and new stars to the constellation... The Filipinas in this anthology will continue the rich tradition of Philippine literature in English and they will contribute much to the ever-expanding vista of the American global literary sky."-from the Introduction by Nick Carbó