Her Wild American Self

Stories by M. Evelina Galang

April 1, 1996 • 5.5 x 8.5 • 192 pages • 978-1-56689-040-3

Filipina American debut author displays the contradictions of Asian American experience with irony & enthusiasm, anger & wit.

The stories in Her Wild American Self focus on Filipina Americans—recent immigrants or first generation—and explore what it is to be American and female. Each character struggles with careers, motherhood, sisterhood, and roles within family and society, including the stereotype of the subservient Asian American woman. Neither fully accepting nor rejecting their Eastern and Western traditions, the characters in this collection attempt to come to terms with their bicultural upbringing. Ranging from the title story about a teenager who comes of age and falls from grace all in one tumultuous season, to a story about an artist who finds her medium and leaves her lover, to a story such as the one about a forty-two year old who realizes she has succeeded in establishing herself as her own woman, Her Wild American Self contains a rich and engaging mosaic of stories about contemporary Filipina American women.

About the Author

M. Evelina Galang is the author of Her Wild American Self, One Tribe, and Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery, as well as editor of the anthology Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images. Galang currently directs and teaches the Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami and works with the VONA/Voices: Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation. She has been named one of the most influential Filipinas in the United States by the Filipina Women’s Network.


“Stirring debut collection of stories. . . . All are told in an elegant, mesmerizing style. . . . The brief, chantlike monologues that frame the collection are as lyrical as prayers.” New York Times Book Review

“An honest and insightful look at the experiences of Filipina American women who ‘grew up hearing two languages.’ . . . A meaningful contribution to the growing chorus of Asian American voices.” Ms. Magazine

“Through these richly drawn women, we experience what it might mean to be a Filipina-American woman. . . . [Galang] shows us how we might find in art, dance, play, family, friendship, or community that which can save us from our cultural scripts.” Review of Contemporary Fiction

“Accessible to readers of all ethnicities. Her tales of coming-of-age while coping with cross-cultural clashes as well as the pitfalls of assimilation are embodied in the history of many American races. . . . [Her Wild American Self] reminds us, indeed, that to be true to one’s self can be our greatest achievement.” Forkroads

“These stories are full of the stuff that make American-born-something meaningful.” Pacific Reader