Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories by Veronica Montes

(PALH 2018), 190 pages
ISBN 9780971945876 (sc)  - ORDER
ISBN 9780971945869 (hb) -  ORDER
EBOOK - Kindle

In her eagerly-awaited debut short-story collection, Filipino American author Veronica Montes limns the lives of Filipino families, with wit, simmering fury, and an abundance of generosity. Each piece is a stunningly vibrant photograph found in a faded album, filled with ates and titas and lolas who love and bicker and mourn and laugh. With her sharp eye for the telling detail, she depicts the grief and everyday joy handed down as inheritance, the affections and denials that bind Filipino families together. Montes, describing one of her characters, “makes up stories to replace the ones that were lost.” Reader, let her. Welcome these stories as your own. ~ Benito Vergara, author of Pinoy Capital: The Filipino Nation in Daly City and Displaying Filipinos: Photography and Colonialismin Early 20th-Century Philippines.

When I read these stories, I am immediately immersed, falling into the lives, hearts and minds of the characters as I do when I am entranced by such stunning storytellers as Isabelle Allende, Marlon James, Lois Ann Yamanaka, and Jessica Hagedorn. 

Montes' stories are a profound collection that moves us fluidly among and beyond physical places, myth, real and dream time. Each story feels like a mantra bringing us back to center, in longing and belonging, reminding us how we lose and find each other in the world. 

Montes' voice is our collective voice, her characters are each of us in our abundant beauty and flaws. How blessed are we to have this Bay Area Pinay author here to share her stories and talent with us! ~ Arlene Biala, recipient of the American Book Award/Before Columbus Foundation for her book of poetry, her beckoning hands.

Veronica Montes is easily one of my favorite prose writers. I was going to write “She is one of my favorite Filipino prose writers,” but that sentence seemed too limiting. That she writes gracefully about her culture, that’s a given. But she is more than that, more than just a writer who represents one particular community or racial group. ~ Marianne Villanueva, Author The Lost Language

Veronica Montes, won the 2020 Black Lawrence Price for their Black River Chapbook Competition.


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