A Vietnam veteran stalks a teenage boy through the summer night. A magical ring infects a community of farm workers with nightmares. A first meeting with a man's father-in-law at an expensive restaurant turns into a celebration of bloodshed. In the endless cubicles of a state bureaucracy, another man mysteriously ceases to exist. These are a few of the stories that comprise this extraordinary collection in which acclaimed author Geronimo Tagatac explores themes of culture and identity, belonging and alienation. Through the eyes of returning Vietnam veterans, migrant laborers, immigrants, and civil servants, Tagatac delves into the experience of being an outsider with a rare candor and insight. Tagatac draws from his diverse experience to deliver narratives that are at once spare and eloquent, vividly capturing the terror of jungle combat as well as the painful flush of first love. In these short, unflinching, deeply felt tales, rifts are not always healed. Unbridgeable gaps remain between people and between worlds -- sometimes deliberately, sometimes despite everything. Driven by the honesty of self-appraisal and joy for life that is evident in every line, The Weight of the Sun reveals to us that it is as much through our failures in trying to bridge these gaps as through our successes that we come to discover the best parts of ourselves.
Son of a Filipino-immigrant father and a Russian-Jewish mother, Tagatac's life has taken an arc from fieldhand to Special Forces demolition sergeant in Vietnam to modern dancer to civil servant and literary writer. This is his first novel.
"Sometimes a writer comes along with characters so beautifully portrayed and prose so clear and direct that my nerves pulse with energy. Shaking my head, I mutter, 'wish I had written that story.' Years ago, when I first heard him read 'Augustine, ' I was electrified, and I've been waiting for this complete collection since that moment. These are wonderful, important stories giving heart and voice to people all-too-often overlooked in mainstream literature."