by Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn

Paper Book, 1990





New York : Pantheon Books, c1990.


Finalist for the National Book Award and a 2015 Wall Street Journal Book Club selection: An intense portrait of the Philippines in the late 1950s Dogeaters follows a diverse set of characters through Manila, each exemplifying the country's sharp distinctions between social classes. Celebrated novelist and playwright Jessica Hagedorn effortlessly shifts from the capital's elite to the poorest of the poor. From the country's president and first lady to an idealist reformer, from actors and radio DJs to prostitutes, seemingly unrelated lives become intertwined.

User reviews

LibraryThing member thioviolight
After putting this book off for nearly five years, I finally picked it up and found myself enjoying it even more than I expected. The novel is fast-paced and rich with imagery from Philippine pop culture and 20th century history, filled with a well-realized cast of characters. I felt so at home reading the book!
LibraryThing member judylou
I found this book difficult to read. It is made up of a series of short stories / vignettes which slowly (clumsily) come together to form the novel. Set in 1950s Manila where the Marcos regime is in full swing, we hear from members of a number of privileged families and their associates, who include prostitutes, actors and drug addicts. In fact there were so many characters, so many points of view that I found myself completely lost at times and wishing for some sort of family tree diagram so I could keep track.

Hagedorn’s Philippines is one where bureaucracy has gone wild, and the entire population are either corrupt or on the make. There is not one sympathetic character amongst the many in the book and I only just managed to read on despite the fact that I did not care about any of them.
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