Filipino novel “America is in the Heart” now a Penguin Classic

Penguin Classics, a series by Penguin Random House, is known for republishing the canonical books of world literature such as Pride and Prejudice; Wuthering Heights; and To Kill a Mockingbird, and distributing them around the world. America Is in the Heart, one of the most influential working class literary classics about the U.S. pre-World War II, written by Carlos Bulosan is now joining this prestigious roster.

Bulosan, who grew up in Binalonan, Pangasinan, left for Seattle in the 1930s at the age of 17. Living there, he experienced the harsh realities for a Filipino immigrant: racism, labor exploitation, and poverty. All of these became the central themes in his book, American Is in the Heart (subtitled “A Personal History”).

First published in 1946 in New York, the semi-autobiographical novel begins with Allos’ rural childhood in the Philippines and the struggles of land-poor peasant families affected by the U.S. imperialism after the Spanish American war of the late 1980s. It, then, follows his journey to the U.S. as an itinerant migrant laborer during the Depression Era. While Allos’ story may have happened decades ago, his search for greener pastures remains painfully familiar to this day.

According to Penguin Random House, Bulosan was one of the most important 20th century social critics with his deeply moving account of what it was like to be criminalized in the U.S. as a Filipino migrant drawn to the ideals of what America symbolized and committed to social justice for all marginalized groups.

The new Penguin Classics edition is expected to come out on May 21, 2019, with a foreword by Filipino-American novelist Elaine Castillo — whose debut novel “America Is Not the Heart” (2018) continues questioning the so-called American dream that Bulosan’s novel started. America Is in the Heart is the fifth book to join Penguin’s roster after Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo”, Jose Garcia Villa’s “Doveglion”, and Nick Joaquin’s “The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic”.

Order your copy today on the Penguin Random House website at or support your local bookstore.

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