Search - List of Books by Carlos Bulosan
Carlos Sampayan Bulosan (born to Ilocano parents in Binalonan, Pangasinan, Luzon, Philippines, November 24, 1913, died in Seattle, Washington on September 13, 1956) was a Filipino American novelist and poet best-known for the semi-autobiographical America Is in the Heart.
Total Books: 15
Carlos Bulosan was born in The Philippines in a rural village of Mangusmana, in the town of Binalonan, Pangasinan. There is considerable debate around his actual birthdate, as he himself used several dates, but 1911 is generally considered the most reliable answer, based on his baptismal records, but according to the late Lorenzo Duyanen Sampayan, his childhood playmate and nephew, Carlos was born on November 2, 1913. Most of his youth was spent in the country side as a farmer. It is during his youth that he and his family were economically impoverished by the rich and political elite, which would become one of the main themes of his writing. His home town is also the starting point of his famous semi-autobiographical novel, America is in the Heart.
Like many Filipinos during the time, he left for America on July 22, 1930 at age 17, in the hope of finding salvation from the economic depression of his home. He never again saw his Philippine homeland. No sooner had he arrived in Seattle, was he immediately met with the hostility of racism, forcing him to work in low paying jobs. He worked as a farmworker, harvesting grapes, asparagus and other kinds of hard labor work in the fields of California. He also worked as a dishwasher with his brother and Lorenzo in the famous Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. He was active in labor politics along the Pacific coast of the United States and edited the 1952 Yearbook for ILWU Local 37, a predominantly Filipino American cannery union based in Seattle.
After many years of discrimination, starvation and sickness, Bulosan had to undergo surgery for tuberculosis in the Los Angeles County Sanitarium, now the USC Medical Center. The tuberculosis operations made him lose most of the right side of his ribs and the function of one lung. He was confined in the hospital for two years where he took advantage and read one book per day for 365 days a year. He became a prolific writer and protective voice concerning the struggles Filipinos were forced to live in.
There is some controversy surrounding the accuracy of events recorded within America Is in the Heart. He is celebrated for giving a post-colonial, Asian immigrant perspective to the labor movement in America and for telling the experience of Filipinos working in the U.S. during the 1930s and '40s. In the 1970s, with a resurgence in Asian/Pacific Islander American activism, his unpublished writings were discovered in a library in the University of Washington leading to posthumous releases of several unfinished works and anthologies of his poetry.
His other novels include The Laughter of My Father, which were originally published as short sketches, and the posthumously published The Cry and the Dedication which detailed the armed Huk Rebellion in the Philippines. One of his most famous essays was "Freedom from Want," commissioned by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of a series on the "Four Freedoms" and published on March 26, 1943 in the Saturday Evening Post.
As a progressive writer of labor struggles, he was blacklisted by the FBI due to his labor organizing and socialist writings. Denied a means to provide for himself, his later years were of hardship and flight. He died in Seattle suffering from an advanced stage of bronchopneumonia. He is buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle.