Monica Macansantos

Monica wrote a novel about the nature of complicity in Marcos-era Philippines, and a critical study of the Martial Law Novel.

PhD awarded 2018

Monica Macansantos was born and raised in the Philippines, and was a James A. Michener Fellow for Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her MFA in Ficton and Poetry in 2013. Her work has appeared in failbetter, The Masters ReviewDay One, WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly, Aotearotica, TAYO Literary Magazine, and SBS Life, among other places. Her essay, 'Becoming A Writer: The Silences We Write Against', was named a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2016. Her story, 'Leaving Auckland', was a Finalist in the Summer 2016 Glimmer Train Fiction Open, and was subsequently serialised as a novella on the website failbetter.com (2018). Her story, 'Stopover', earned an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2013 Glimmer Train Fiction Open, and was published in Five Quarterly (2013) and in Hypertrophic Literary (2018). Her work has been recognised with residencies at Hedgebrook and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She is currently Branches Nonfiction Editor of Rambutan Literary, a literary journal of the global Southeast Asian community.

Monica writes: 'My novel, tentatively titled People We Trust, examines the lives of three young people who come of age during the early years of the Marcos dictatorship.

'In my accompanying critical study, I discussed novels about the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines, paying particular attention to Ninotchka Rosca's State of War and Gina Apostol's Gun Dealers Daughter. I refer to fiction written about the Marcos dictatorship as "Martial Law Fiction", a term coined by Gerald T. Burns in his 1994 essay, "Philippine Martial Law Fiction: Phases in the Early Evolution of the Genre", to describe what he calls a genre of historical fiction written specifically about the Marcos years. For purposes of clarity, it is worth mentioning that "Martial Law" is a term used by journalists and scholars alike in the Philippines to refer to the Marcos years.'

Read more