Two Filipina authors in CBC’s writers to watch

Updated: 6:22 AM, Sept. 21, 2017

Catherine Hernandez will be  in Vancouver Sept. 22

By Ted Alcuitas

Catherine Hernandez and Lorina Mapa are among 17 writers included in this year’s CBC writers to watch for 2017.

Hernandez is the author of the just released novel ‘Scarborough’.

Published by Arsenal Press,Hernandez’s plays Singkil and Kilt Pins were published by Playwrights Canada Press. Her children’s book M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book was published by Flamingo Rampant.

A former theatre practitioner and daycare provider from Scarborough, Ontario she mined these experiences to write her impressive debut novel, Scarborough.

Hernandez was co-winner of LiterAsian’s Emerging Writer’s Award in 2015.

Scarborough was short-listed in the Toronto Book Awards.


She will be in Vancouver on September 22 as one of the panelists for the 2017 award, now renamed Jim Wong Chu Emerging Writer’s Award  to honour Wong -Chu who died on July 11.

Scarborough is a moving multi-voiced story about a Toronto neighbourhood that refuses to fall apart in the face of poverty and crime.
• How Catherine Hernandez’s resilient neighbourhood inspired her debut novel




Photo: (Conundrum Press/Courtesy of Lorina Mapa)

Lorina Mapa is the author and illustrator of the graphic memoir Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos and Me.

Mapa was born in the Philippines and came to North America when she was 16 years old. She now lives in Quebec, where she creates comics like her moving graphic memoir, Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos and Me.
The book is a graphic memoir that recalls Mapa’s childhood in the Philippines, as a Duran Duran–loving tomboy and politically outspoken teenager during the turbulent 1980s.

In February 2010, Lorina Mapa was feeling estranged from herself during a brutal Montreal winter and decided to do something about it by putting pen to paper.

A designer and translator by trade, she had never written much about her own life, much less attempted to sketch it out in sequential imagery.

Montreal Review of Books (mRb) says Mapa “knew the memoir would be both an antidote to her melancholy and a story worth telling. Bookended by an account of her father’s passing, the story is woven through with a cathartic sense of narrative-as-process, of using storytelling as a means to stabilize and heal.”

The London Free Press calls the book political drama and pop culture woven into one.



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