Synopses & Reviews
Weight of the Sun
, a short story collection by Geronimo Tagatac, sparkles with an appeal that comes from a deep understanding of human nature.
Here are the farm laborers, dancers, kitchen workers, and soldiers who make up a world that is wrought with pain, nostalgia, and stunning grace. From the widowed Filipino father raising a son in a migrant work camp to the young veteran haunted by the ghost of war, The Weight of the Sun shows us not only what it is to be human, but how the human spirit can grow when faced with overwhelming adversity. Tagatac brings these characters home in our hearts with a poise and dignity that marks a new and powerful voice in short fiction.
A Vietnam veteran stalks a teenage boy through the summer night. A magical ring infects a community of farm workers with nightmares. A first meeting with a man's father-in-law at an expensive restaurant turns into a celebration of bloodshed. In the endless cubicles of a state bureaucracy, another man mysteriously ceases to exist. These are a few of the stories that comprise this extraordinary collection in which acclaimed author Geronimo Tagatac explores themes of culture and identity, belonging and alienation. Through the eyes of returning Vietnam veterans, migrant laborers, immigrants, and civil servants, Tagatac delves into the experience of being an outsider with a rare candor and insight. Tagatac draws from his diverse experience to deliver narratives that are at once spare and eloquent, vividly capturing the terror of jungle combat as well as the painful flush of first love. In these short, unflinching, deeply felt tales, rifts are not always healed. Unbridgeable gaps remain between people and between worlds -- sometimes deliberately, sometimes despite everything. Driven by the honesty of self-appraisal and joy for life that is evident in every line, The Weight of the Sun reveals to us that it is as much through our failures in trying to bridge these gaps as through our successes that we come to discover the best parts of ourselves.
Geronimo Tagatac-in an interrelated collection of short stories about the fictional Guerrero family-captures the essence of a people who are broken, without a home, and lost.
The Guerreros are farm workers, soldiers, ski bums, students, and world travelers. They are a family unique to these stories, yet typical in their context. With simple, direct, and beautiful language, Tagatac explores both the essence of what makes a person an individual and the ties that create a family.
About the Author
Son of a Filipino-immigrant father and a Russian-Jewish mother, Tagatac's life has taken an arc from fieldhand to Special Forces demolition sergeant in Vietnam to modern dancer to civil servant and literary writer.