PEN to launch Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo’s memoirs of a writing life | Inquirer Lifestyle

PEN to launch Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo’s memoirs of a writing life

The Philippine Center of the International PEN (Poets & Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists) will launch “The Thing with Feathers: My Book of Memories,” the newest nonfiction title from essayist-fictionist Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo.

Published by the Univerity of Santo Tomas Publishing House, the book is a collection of memoirs about the writing life. The title, says the author, is a “curtsey to the poet Dickinson’s feathery creature, her singing metaphor for hope.”

Some of these pieces were published as Facebook Notes, and later expanded into their present form. Hidalgo writes she decided to include some of the comments engendered by the notes, because she feels they are now part of the original texts.

“Our ideas about literature and literary genres are changing, given our rapidly world,” she writes. “This just might be one way in which the contemporary essay or memoir is evolving into a new form, for which we still do not have a name.”

Hidalgo has published more than 30 books, including two novels, five short story collections and numerous creative nonfiction collections, as well as critical essays. She is perhaps best known for her travel writing. She has authored a pioneering creative nonfiction textbook with an accompanying reader, which is unique in featuring only texts by Filipino writers.

She has also pioneered in literary criticism of Filipino women’s writing, particularly memoirs and other autobiographical works.

Hidalgo is the director of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies, and professor for Creative Writing and Literature of University of the Philippines. She teaches Creative Writing and Literature in the graduate schools of UST and UP.

The event will be on Jan. 27, 5 p.m., at the Solidaridad Bookstore, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila.