BOOK FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS “IMELDA’S SECRET”, A NOVEL ABOUT COMFORT WOMEN, SEXUAL TRAFFICKING, AND REDEMPTION
The 6th Filipino American International Book Festival on October 15-16, 2022 will feature Liza Gino’s award-winning novel, IMELDA’S SECRET. They will hold this special event at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street in San Francisco, California. The festival is free for the public.
Open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. on October 15 and from 12:00 noon to 5:15 p.m. on October 16, the “Festival Marketplace” at the Latino/Hispanic Community Rooms will be the venue for interested buyers, collectors, and advocates who are interested in purchasing “Imelda’s Secret” and meeting the author.
On Sunday, October 16, 2022, Liza Gino will read excerpts from her novel at 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the “Inkstorm 3: Authors Read Freshly Inked Work” session at the Koret Auditorium, basement level.
Liza Gino’s novel, “Imelda’s Secret”, weaves a tapestry of authentic accounts about comfort women’s experiences during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II into one story. Relatives and friends provided the inspiration for Liza to research deeply into the hushed past of these victims of rape, sexual trafficking, and trauma. Along the way, Gino met key stakeholders in the comfort women’s fight for justice: women activists, thought leaders, and mental health professionals who gave voice to their hopes, aspirations, and disappointment in her tale of love, redemption, and advocacy.
What is Imelda’s secret? Two cousins, Imelda and Gloria, have differing attitudes about revealing their shared experiences as comfort women. Whereas Gloria casually mentions that she was a comfort woman to acquaintances at her sons’ school, Imelda denies her past. Gloria and Imelda’s only daughter, Adele, are the lead advocates in getting these victims of war, among their demands, a public apology and renumeration from Japan. Yet, buried secrets surface in the most serendipitous ways 40 years later. The novel also chronicles a passionate love story.
How does the history of comfort women impact the present and the future? Sexual trafficking continues to be a dominant player in war zones. While comfort women of World War II assuaged the sexual needs of Japanese soldiers, today’s predators are manipulative slave traders, paid handsomely for their exported refugees. “Imelda’s Secret” allows the readers to empathize with the struggles of victims of war and sexual slavery, to appreciate diverse cultures and traditions, and to empower women and girls to take control of their lives.
Gino’s literary accolades include: First Place for Historical Fiction at the 2020 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards; Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Women’s Interest Category (Fall 2020); Literary Titan Book Awards (2021); Award-winning author for Historical at the 2021 International Impact Book Awards; Award winner for Military Fiction at the Firebird Book Awards (2021); Print Journalism Award for Best Book (Fiction) from the Commission of Filipinos Overseas Migration Advocacy Media Awards (2022); and a 2nd place award for Women’s Historical Fiction at the Bookfest Book Award (2022).
Liza Gino also garnered laurels at the Outstanding Creator Awards (Winter 2021-2022) with first place honors for Romance, Historical Fiction, Women’s Issues, third place for Best Fiction Book, its Special Awards for Best Book Cover and Best Couple, and honorable mentions for the Special Awards for Best Character, Best Supporting Character, and Best Villain.
Other noteworthy recognitions of Liza Gino’s gift for storytelling are: Finalist for Best Adult Book Award at the Readers’ Choice Book Awards (2022), Honorable Mention for History at the San Francisco Book Festival Awards (2022), Finalist at the 2022 Feathered Quill Book Awards, and Honorable Mention for General Fiction at the Southern California Book Festival (2022).
Go to https://www.filbookfestival.org/ for more information about the book festival.
“Imelda’s Secret” is available at https://imeldassecret.com/.