miami university


Mayor of the Roses


By Marianne Villanueva

2005. 1-881163-45-8 / 1-881163-46-6

“Marianne Villanueva is a gifted story-teller with an unflinching eye. Her elegant stories take us on a powerful journey from the harsh realities of life in the Philippines to another kind of harsh reality in urban America.”
—Jessica Hagedorn, author of Dream Jungle

“There is a disarming immediacy to these stories, most related by a young Filipina emigrant to the States, about a search for what should be accessible—home, family, history—but proves so rarely nowadays to be so. These are moving, finely crafted tales.”
—Ehud Havazelet

Praise for Villanueva’s previous collection

“...a haunting picture of the island’s landscape and an intriguing glimpse into the minds and hearts of its people. Hers is a milieu where it is hard to distinguish myth from reality and lies from truth.”
Publishers Weekly

“Moody, observant, and magnetic tales about a volatile culture from a fine writer.”

Reviews, events and news

The Manila Bulletin interviewed Marianne Villanueva on October 6, 2007. Read the text of that conversation here.

Mayor of the Roses was reviewed in the Winter 2007 edition of CALYX, a Journal of Art and Literature by Women. Reviewer Rocío G. Davis says, “Villanueva’s elegant and controlled prose becomes the perfect vehicle for the articulation of lives lived cautiously, where characters seem uncertain about the stability of the ground they walk on, the lives they lead.”

Mayor of the Roses was reviewed in Pacific Rim Review in July 2006. Read the full review here (80K PDF file).

Mayor of the Roses has been reviewed by The Short Review. Read the review here.

About the Author

Marianne Villanueva

Author Photo © 2002 Stella Kalaw

Marianne Villanueva, a former Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing at Stanford, has been writing and publishing stories about the Philippines and Filipino Americans since the mid 1980s.

Her critically acclaimed first collection of short fiction, Ginseng and Other Tales from Manila (Calyx Books 1991) was short–listed for the Philippines’ National Book Award. Her work has been widely anthologized. Her story, “Silence,” first published in the Three Penny Review, was short–listed for the 2000 O. Henry Literature Prize, and “The Hand” was awarded first prize in Juked’s 2007 fiction contest. She has edited an anthology of Filipina women’s writings, Going Home to a Landscape, which was selected as a Notable Book by the prestigious Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize.

She currently teaches writing and literature at Foothill College and Notre Dame de Namur University. Born and raised in Manila, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may view her blog at