Elaine Castillo: Author of America Is Not The Heart


Join us in welcoming Elaine Castillo to Laurel Book Store!



About the Book:


“Castillo’s debut, a contemporary saga of an extended Filipino family, is a wonderful, nonpareil novel . . . a remarkable feat . . . a brilliant and intensely moving immigrant tale.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Three generations of women from one immigrant family trying to reconcile the home they left behind with the life they're building in America.

How many lives can one person lead in a single lifetime? When Hero de Vera arrives in America, disowned by her parents in the Philippines, she's already on her third. Her uncle, Pol, who has offered her a fresh start and a place to stay in the Bay Area, knows not to ask about her past. And his younger wife, Paz, has learned enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. Only their daughter Roni asks Hero why her hands seem to constantly ache.

Illuminating the violent political history of the Philippines in the 1980s and 1990s and the insular immigrant communities that spring up in the suburban United States with an uncanny ear for the unspoken intimacies and pain that get buried by the duties of everyday life and family ritual, Castillo delivers a powerful, increasingly relevant novel about the promise of the American dream and the unshakable power of the past. In a voice as immediate and startling as those of Junot Diaz and NoViolet Bulawayo, America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful telenovela of a debut novel. With exuberance, muscularity, and tenderness, here is a family saga; an origin story; a romance; a narrative of two nations and the people who leave home to grasp at another, sometimes turning back.


About the Author:



Elaine Castillo was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in southeast London. Her writing can be found or is forthcoming at make/shift magazine, The Rumpus, [PANK] Magazine, and Feminist Review, among others. She is also a board member of Digital Desperados, a Glasgow-based film collective for women of color. One of her short films was screened at The Future Weird, a Brooklyn-based film series run by Derica Shields and Megan Eardly, devoted to films exploring non-Western futurisms. America Is Not The Heart is her first novel.

Event date: 
Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
Laurel Book Store
1423 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612