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Secret Asian Man
by Nick Carbó
Secret Asian Man is a hilarious and poignant look at the immigrant experience. Ang Tunay na Lalaki (Tagalog for "The Real Man") is the Filipino Marlboro Man, a macho and bare-chested endorser of gin. But when he finds himself in New York City and auditioning as a bit actor, disillusionment quickly sets in: he realizes he, an Asian man, will never be a sex symbol in America ...more
Paperback, 60 pages
Published October 12th 2001 by Tia Chucha
(first published 2000)
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I bought this book at a sale my school was having, and got it because of the whimsical title. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was by a Filipino author, and I could relate to the parts where Filipino culture was brought up. I enjoyed the first half more than the second, but overall I thought it was a solid collection of poetry. I did question the author bringing himself into his own book, but I guess that's the nature of poetic license.
I was hoping to obtain some books by Filipinx authors for my school library, as the school district has so many Filipinx students since many of their parents came to Baltimore to teach. However, this was not the book to fill that bill. The book is focused on the main character's sexual attractiveness is perceived and obviously that material is not appropriate for middle schoolers. Moreover I thought the fantasy basis of the book would be interesting but it served more to make the book a bit biza ...more
I recently found this slim book of poetry among my college debris; thought it was so funny back then... poignant too. It tells the story of this Filipino named Ang Tunay Na Lalaki who was kind of a bigshot c-list celebrity back in Manila but after moving to NYC is faceless, emasculated. All the poems, bearing titles such as "Ang Tunay Na Lalaki Explores the Chatrooms on AOL" and "Ang Tunay Na Lalaki Does His Laundry," are quirky and fresh.