Jessica Hagedorn was born and raised in the Phillipines and moved to the United States in her teens. She studied theater arts in San Francisco, performing with fellow poets Ntozake Shange and Thulani Davis, and other poets, dancers, and musicians in the Bay Area. In 1978 she moved to New York , where she currently lives. She is a well-known performance artist, poet, and playwright, and a former commentator on NPR. Her first novel, Dogeaters, was a finalist for the National Book Award, won an American Book Award, and was voted best book of the year in 1990 by the Before Columbus Foundation. It has been translated into several languages and was adapted by Hagedorn as a play, which recently premiered at the Joseph Papp/New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater. Her other books include the groundbreaking Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction and a second novel, The Gangster of Love
Jessica Hagedorn has transformed her bestselling novel about the Philippines during the reign of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos into an equally powerful theatrical piece that is a multi-layered tour de force. As Harold Bloom writes, "Hagedorn expresses the conflicts experienced by Asian immigrants caught between cultures...
Danger and Beauty|
Hagedorn muses about love and sex, and probes with wry humor and sharp social satire the heart-and hearbreaks-of the immigrant experience."Jessica Hagedorn is one of the best of a new generation of writers who are making American language new and who...
"As sharp and fast as a street boy's razor" (The New York Times Book Review), Dogeaters is an intense fictional portrayal of Manila in the heyday of Marcos, the Philippines' late dictator. In the center of this maelstrom is Rio, a feisty schoolgirl...