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From Undocumented Teenager to Southern Mom

City of Asylum Banner (2019)

City of Asylum Memoir Series Presents

Sunday, November 10th
6:00 pm

In MALAYA: Essays On Freedom, author Cinelle Barnes opens a window into her past as an undocumented, Filipino teenager determined to build a future amidst the hustle of New York City. Prevented from getting a driver’s license or filing taxes, Cinelle worked odd jobs — constantly looking over her shoulder, hoping not to get caught. Cinelle also shares essays of her present, as a young mother navigating the stubborn landscape of the American South.

Lyrical and emotionally driven, MALAYA is the stirring follow-up to Cinelle’s acclaimed memoir on her childhood, Monsoon Mansion.

This is an intensely personal, yet universal, exploration of race, class and identity that redefines what it means to be a woman—and an American—in a divided country.
Cinelle Barnes

“Luminescent and shattering, Barnes’s book is a triumph: a conquering of the past through the power of the written word.” — Booklist (starred review)

Cinelle Barnes is a memoirist, essayist, and educator from Manila, Philippines. She is the author of Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, which was listed as a Best Nonfiction Book of 2018 by Bustle and nominated for the 2018 Reading Women Nonfiction Award. She is also the editor of a forthcoming anthology of essays about the American South by writers of color. Cinelle was the 2018–19 writer-in-residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina, where she and her family live.

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