Bodies of Water, by Yves Lamson
Bodies of Water. Author: Yves Lamson isbn 0994971427 paperback
Bodies of Water, is a love letter; a missive to the strong Filipinas in my life, and a prayer .to the homeland whose creatures and myths I grew up wondering about and wondrous for. It is also a wistful note to the Philippine plantations my mother’s family have cared for through generations. This book is a documenting of the cultural myths my father put me to bed with and a revisionist take on them. Bodies of Water is roughly 193,000 words in length and is literary fiction that wanders into the magic realism genre.
The Philippines are bodies of water, and so are we — Following the lives of four generations of women with an innate ability to speak to water, Bodies of Water straddles the border between reality and magic. Set against the lush and vibrant backdrop of rural Philippine life, familial myths collide with historical events and people. All the while, creatures of legend and folklore pulled from the rich tapestry that is the Philippine oral tradition lurk just beyond the safety of home in the dark, deep jungle. Vida, Valentina, Lailani and Karagatan know the secrets of the body; the water in each of us speaks to them. These women are healers, survivors and mothers. Yet more than simply tracing the lineage of these women whose personal history is weighty with magic and mysticism, Bodies of Water anchors these women to reality, placing them within historical events. World War II, the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, the reign of Marcos, and the subsequent diaspora of the Philippine people serve to ground — not drown these women, for they’ve learned to breathe underwater.