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BSFA Review: Song of the Mango and Other New Myths by Vida Cruz-Borja

27/11/2023 09:46 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Song of the Mango and Other New Myths cover

Song of the Mango and Other New Myths by Vida Cruz-Borja

(Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2022)

Reviewed by Zhui Ning Chang

Vida Cruz-Borja is a much-anthologised writer, editor, artist, tarot reader, and conrunner, and a key voice in contemporary Philippine speculative fiction. Her second illustrated fantasy collection, Song of the Mango and Other New Myths, offers the best of her fiction writing across a decade.

In fifteen stories, Cruz-Borja takes readers on a compelling journey through the precolonial past to a magical realist present to a fantastic array of alternate worlds. Each work is accompanied by a beautiful illustration, created by different artists of Filipino heritage. As indicated by the title, many works reimagine alternate endings to classic tales and devise visions towards a more just, equal future. Cruz-Borja addresses this explicitly in her introduction, stating her belief in a writer’s responsibility as a modern mythmaker towards readers in search of kinder worlds. The writing is inventive, formally playful, and reveals a clever, thoughtful mind carving out a fresh and nuanced perspective.

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Review from BSFA Review 21 - Download your copy here.


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