Hagedorn and Fellow Filipino Writers: 'What the Hell Is Noir?'

NEW YORK, June 3, 2013 — Filipino and Filipino American writers Jessica Hagedorn, Gina Apostol and Sabina Murray gathered to read excerpts from the anthology Manila Noir. Published by Akashic Books as part of its Noir series, this new anthology of crime writing was edited by Hagedorn, who gave contributors a brief to produce crimes stories that represented the diverse neighborhoods of Metro Manila and with the stipulation of "no happy endings."

In a talk moderated by the scholar Allan Punzalan Isaac of Rutgers University, the writers came together with the filmmaker Ron Morales (Graceland) for a provocative discussion on what makes "noir" (the bleakness, the lack of sentimentality) and its moral complexity, ending with the reflection that in the new collection, the city of Manila itself becomes the iconic noir character, the "femme fatale."

Reported by Anne Kirkup

Video: Highlights from the program (1 min., 44 sec.)

Related Links:
Watch the complete program
Interview with Jessica Hagedorn
Shop AsiaStore for Manila Noir