By Claire Light
Fans of the Asian American classic Rolling the R's are in luck: R. Zamora Linmark's frenetic meditation on Hawaiian transnational teenagerhood is finally sequeled. Now-adult Vicente de los Reyes, the least flamboyant of Rolling's group of pop-obsessed adolescents, is runner-up in a Hawaiian pageant for Filipino American men. His prize is an expense-paid trip to Manila, and what at first looks like a pop-infused roots journey. On its surface, the perfect Manila travelogue, Leche takes its name both from a Filipino swearword and from the gay sex club Vince tours the city to avoid. But is it a shriekingly gay destiny he's dodging or still-painful memories of his broken and scattered family? This time around, Linmark uses his trademark po-mo fragmentation for surface texture; it compromises the novel's picaresque forward motion not a whit. This is a language — and a Manila — that should be familiar to readers of the Asian American canon, and Leche feels like the long-awaited completion of something we didn't know was incomplete.
The previous issue of Hyphen is available in its entirety for your perusing pleasure. Almost as good as having it right in your hands!