Jessica Hagedorn Quotes
“The Suffering Pilipino: We Pinoys suffer collectively from a cultural inferiority complex. We are doomed by our need for assimilation into the West and our own curious fatalism...He describes us as a complex nation of cynics, descendants of warring tribes which were baptized and colonized to death by Spaniards and Americans, as a nation betrayed and then united only by our hunger for glamour and our Hollywood dreams.”
- Born: Manila, Philippines.
- Description: Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn was born (and raised) in Manila, Philippines in 1949. With her background, a Scots-Irish-French-Filipino mother and a Filipino-Spanish father with one Chinese ancestor, Hagedorn adds a unique perspective to Asian American performance and literature. Her mixed media style often incorporates song, poetry, images, and spoken dialogue.
Moving to San Francisco in 1963, Hagedorn received her education at the American Conservatory Theater training program. To further pursue playwriting and music, she moved to New York in 1978.
Joseph Papp produced her first play Mango Tango in 1978. Hagedorn's other productions include Tenement Lover, Holy Food, and Teenytown.
In 1985, 1986, and 1988, she received Macdowell Colony Fellowships, which helped enable her to write the novel Dogeaters, which illuminates many different aspects of Filipino experience, focusing on the influence of America through radio, television, and movie theaters. She shows the complexities of the love-hate relationship many Filipinos in diaspora feel toward their past. After its publication in 1990, her novel earned a 1990 National Book Award nomination and an American Book Award. In 1998, La Jolla Playhouse produced a stage adaptation.
She lives in New York with her husband and two daughters, and continues to be a poet, storyteller, musician, playwright, and multimedia performance artist.