Set against the backdrop of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941, Cecilia Manguerra Brainards brilliant novel weaves myth and legend together with the suffering and tragedies of the Filipino people. When nine-year-old Yvonne flees with her family into the jungle to join the resistance effort, she witnesses death and destruction on an almost unimaginable scale. In the face of terror and despair, she finds comfort in the stories her people have passed down over generations.
In particular, the legends of Bongkatolan, the Woman Warrior, and the merciful rainbow goddess offer her strength and hope. Yvonne becomes determined to preserve these ancient legends and to give voice to the epic she herself is living. When the Rainbow Goddess Wept is an exploration of the collective wounding of the Filipino people and their heroic response.
It shows us the Philippines through an insiders eyes and brings to American audiences an unusual reading experience about a world that is utterly foreign and a child who is touchingly universal. Cecilia Manguerra Brainard was born in Cebu City, Philippines. Her published works include Woman with Horns and Other Stories and Philippine Woman in America.
She is also the editor of the anthology Fiction by Filipinos in America and teaches creative writing at the Writers Program of UCLA Extension. Brainards fresh and powerful voice fills a void in Asian-American literature with a novel steeped in the enchantment and suffering of the Filipino people. In the story of nine-year-old Yvonnes flight from the Japanese invasion and her determination to hold fast to her peoples myths and legends, Brainard lays bare the real-life drama of World War IIs devastating effect on the lives of the Filipinos.