America Is in the Heart Background

America Is in the Heart Background

America Is in the Heart, sometimes (albeit infrequently) called America Is in the Heart: A Personal History is a semi-autobiographical novel written by the Filipino-American author, immigrant, and activist Carlos Bulosan, originally published in 1946. Despite the author's original Filipino nationality, the book was initially written in English and was not translated into many other languages.

The book is about Bulosan's life both in the Philippines and in the United States of America, as an immigrant. He begins by recounting his childhood in the Philippines, and how he lived on his father's farm and tended it often, ploughing. He also tells of some of the hardships that he had, the most prominent of which was his divided family forcing him to pawn off the land for extremely sub-par prices. After this, though, Bulosan recalls his immigration to America in 1930, and how he was immediately faced with discrimination and prejudice towards him while he was a labour worker in California.

America Is in the Heart has received praise from critics as being one of the first and most blatant accounts of immigration from the Asian-American viewpoint. Along with that, the novel is one of the only accounts of the Filipino immigration experience in America and is widely considered to be among the greatest. The novel was even called a "social classic" by Carey McWilliams in the introductory essay to his own book, Factories in the Field.

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