Switching back to a couple of contemporary Filipina writers for the next couple of posts, each of whom are featured in a collection from one of my favorite publishers!
Yvette Tan is a freelance writer who has written about many topics for magazines and other media sources. The supernatural is one of her special interests, and her fiction was brought to my attention by a fellow member of the Facebook Classic Ghost Story Tradition group. Unfortunately, the short story collection he recommended to me was in Filipino (which I don’t read); she also has an English language collection called Waking the Dead, which looked interesting, but seems to be out of print/only available in the Philippines. Darn!
As far as I can tell, most of Tan’s fiction has been published in Filipino collections that don’t always make it to the U.S., or at least not for very long. However, some internet searching uncovered her personal blog and a few stories as well. They fall more directly into the horror category than the ghost stories and weird tales that I usually talk about (two of them do, at least), but I love their quirky dark humor.
So I was happy to see that Yvette Tan has a story featured in the upcoming Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories (editors James D. Jenkins and Ryan Cagle), a collection of international horror translated to English for the first time (or in Tan’s case, already in English but appearing in print in the U.S. for the first time). I was already excited about the publication of this volume; having now read some of Tan’s work, I know that at least one story is going to be great!
While you are waiting for the Valancourt collection’s release, here are some Yvette Tan stories to get you ready, featuring Filipino sorcery and a sprinkling of zombies:
Looking for eternal life in a graveyard in the middle of the night — From the ANCX news website. (Wayback Machine Link, March 29, 2020)
Two women visit a graveyard at midnight to dig up an anting-anting (magic amulet) from a babaylan’s (shaman’s) grave. What could go wrong? (The babaylan’s name, Matipuno, means “hunky” or “handsome”.)
Donovan’s Filipina mail-order bride from Siquijor is HAWT, and a great gourmet cook, too. It’s enough to make Donovan’s colleague Foster think about settling down, too. This story is adult-themed, and likely to make you extremely hungry while reading it. I thought it was hilarious.
Fresh Fruit for Rotting Corpses on MYS Universe
Someone once asked me where I wanted to be doing when the end of the world came.
I said: I want to be cooking.
A zombie apocalypse story, which possibly feels a little different to read now, in the middle of a pandemic, than it did when Tan originally wrote it. Great story.
I hope you like these stories as much as I did. If so, be sure to look out for The Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories, too. Enjoy!
Featured Image: The Old Town Cemetery at Sariaya, Quezon, Nissip (2014). Source: Wikimedia