AS part of the Litfest (Cebu Literary Festival), for yet another exciting book launch, a novel written by internationally-acclaimed novelist Cecilia Manguerra Brainard entitled The Newspaper Widow, took place at the Activity Center of Ayala Center Cebu. This launch made one of the highlights of this two-day Cebu Literary Festival, which is currently on its fourth year.
This newly launched book The Newspaper Widow features a photo of Cecilia’s very own mother, the late Concepcion Cuenco Manguerra, printed on the cover of the book, taken when she was crowned Cebu’s Carnival Queen in 1932. The book is based in the year 1909 on actual events and people the writer herself has known. Cecilia’s writings are often located in the mythical and imaginary city called Ubec, which happens to be Cebu spelt backward, always making it a very interesting read.
At the book launch, Brainard shared a talk on Influences on My Writing, where she never failed to remind everyone that it was her father who had always encouraged her to read. Having read excerpts from her book, Cecilia also happened to recall a memory where she would pop into Alemar’s Bookshop as a young child to buy comic books before moving on to reading better literature.
Listening to the radio played a huge part in Cecilia’s life as well for she loved her radio soaps and dramas that would go on for days! Soap operas taught her the love for story and the love for conflict in this storytelling, and admits that this truly influenced her writing.
The talk was followed by a very informative conversation/interview with Cris Evert Lato, a member of the local press, with a question and answer portion done by members of the public.
To order a copy of the book The Newspaper Widow, you may call Hendri Go at 0917-815-5794. For more information on Cecilia Manguerra Brainard and her writing, you may check www.ceciliabrainard.com.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on July 17, 2017.
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