click here for reviews of AMERICAN SON (W.W. Norton)
click here for reviews of LAST MISTRESS OF JOSE RIZAL (Curbstone Northwestern)
Brian Ascalon Roley is the award-winning author of AMERICAN SON (W.W. Norton; Christian Bourgeois Editeur), which was a Los Angeles Times Best Book, New York Times Notable Book, Kiriyama Pacific Rim Prize Finalist, Salon.com best of the month selection, and winner of the Association for Asian American Studies Prose Book Award of 2003, among other honors. Brian's work has also been featured in the California Council for the Humanities Statewide Reading Campaign of 2004, and has been widely taught nationally and abroad.
His fiction, literary essays and poetry have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Mixed: An Anthology of Short Fiction on the Multiracial Experience (W.W. Norton), Charlie Chan is Dead 2: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction (Penguin), and several best selling anthologies in the Philippines.
Brian has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and held artist residencies at Djerassi, Ragdale, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He is currently Professor of English at Miami University of Ohio and spends most of his time with his family in Cincinnati and California.
His story collection, THE LAST MISTRESS OF JOSE RIZAL, appears in April 2016.
(for long bio click here)
"Heartbreaking...American Son is a gripping book."
-- Aleksandar Hemon, New York Times
"Ambitious...beautiful...The Last Mistress of Jose Rizal is a story that deserves a second read."
"Two Half-Filipino brothers can pass for white, their mother cannot; painful conflicts are in store for everybody in this complex exploration of racism in California, starting in 1993, a year after the Rodney King Riots."
--New York Times Editors,
Notable Books of the Year
“A grandmother obsesses over her granddaughter’s un-Catholic upbringing. A son visits his estranged father at a hospital where he is under a suicide watch. A family imports a young maid from the Philippines, and all hell, with love, breaks loose. In the eyes of a dog, a boy reconnects with his deceased father. A war veteran migrates to Los Angeles and moves into the overcrowded home of his sister’s family to take care of their aging mother.
Written with seemingly effortless grace and in clean-eyed prose, the short stories in Roley’s long-awaited collection are poignant, intimate, and heartbreaking."
--R Zamora Linmark
"Roley writes with assurance, grace and insight, and he plays expertly with our perceptions and expectations...And Roley is one young writer with something important to say: he has fused a coming-of-age story with a variant on the American immigrant saga, and the result is both explosive and illuminating."
--Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times Book Review
(A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year)
"American Son is brilliantly written. Roley is one of the most adept writers I have read at using spare descriptions for crisp characterization... Roley's The Last Mistress of Jose Rizal is an appearance equally auspicious to American Son: a demonstration of the prowess of this writer in the middle of a strong literary career."
-- Vince Gotera, Professor of English and Editor Emeritus of The North American Review
"Touching, disturbing." -- Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Book Dragon Notable Book
"Hard-hitting and brash, this debut novel takes a cold, clear-eyed look at the American immigrant experience...This is a powerhouse story of vulnerable strangers living in a brutal, alien land told with stylish restraint, bare-knuckled realism and tender yet tough clarity." -- Publisher's Weekly
"The emotional effect of this build up, in one brilliantly executed scene after another, is extraordinary. American Son combines hard-hitting power with literary grace and sensitivity."
-- Nicholas Jose, novelist and Pacific Rim Prize judge.
"Penetrating...Roley explores this omnipresent yet usually invisible story of contemporary American immigrant life with an easy exactitude and a dry, unmerciful eye...What's most memorable, and most disturbing, is how Roley subtly renders the difference between those who make the journey to America and those who are born out of their hopes...Clean, beautifully understated prose." --Suzy Hansen, Salon.com (a Best Book of May)