Monstress introduces a bold new writer who explores the clash and meld of disparate cultures. In the National Magazine Award-nominated title story, a has-been movie director and his reluctant leading lady travel from Manila to Hollywood for one last chance at stardom, unaware of what they truly stand to lose. In “Felix Starro,” a famous Filipino faith healer and his grandson conduct an illicit business in San Francisco, though each has his own plans for their earnings. And after the Beatles reject an invitation from Imelda Marcos for a Royal Command Performance, an aging bachelor attempts to defend her honor by recruiting his three nephews to attack the group at the Manila International Airport in “Help.”
Lysley Tenorio reveals the lives of people on the outside looking in with rare skill, humor, and deep understanding, in stories framed by tense, fascinating dichotomies—tenderness and power, the fantastical and the realistic, the familiar and the strange. Breathtakingly original, Monstress marks the arrival of a singular new voice in American fiction.
“[An] intimate and admirably controlled debut story collection… [MONSTRESS is] an introduction to a promising writer who knows how to get a reader’s attention….Tenorio has a great knack for striking story premises… [and] cultivates a plainspoken (but not blunt) style that recalls Tobias Wolff.” (Kirkus Reviews )
“Tenorio is that rare breed of writer who mines gold from the impossible. He sees everything—the absurd and the tragic, the funny and profound—and delivers stories that are as true to life as any you will ever read.” (Ben Fountain, PEN/Hemingway award-winning author of BRIEF ENCOUNTERS WITH CHE GUEVARA )
“Lysley Tenorio is a writer of sly wit and lively invention—these are stories bursting with wonders…but most wondrous of all is his intimate sense of character. Each story is a confession of love betrayed, told with a mournful, austere tenderness as heartbreaking as it is breathtaking.” (Peter Ho Davies, author of THE WELSH GIRL )
“Tenorio’s wit is understated; his writing is deft and self-assured; his dramas don’t shout, but whisper, seductive and heartfelt. MONSTRESS is one of the wisest and heartfelt collections I’ve read. I’ve waited a long time for this book.” (Daniel Orozco, author of ORIENTATION AND OTHER STORIES )