When the Rainbow Goddess Wept

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
A novel of epic proportions that chronicles recent Philippine history and culture


Set against the backdrop of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard's brilliant novel weaves myth and legend together with the suffering and tragedies of the Filipino people. When nine-year-old Yvonne flees with her family into the jungle to join the resistance effort, she witnesses death and destruction on an almost unimaginable scale.

In the face of terror and despair, she finds comfort in the stories her people have passed down over generations. In particular, the legends of Bongkatolan, the Woman Warrior, and the merciful rainbow goddess offer her strength and hope. Yvonne becomes determined to preserve these ancient legends and to give voice to the epic she herself is living.

When the Rainbow Goddess Wept is an exploration of the collective wounding of the Filipino people and their heroic response. It shows us the Philippines through an insider's eyes and brings to American audiences an unusual reading experience about a world that is utterly foreign and a child who is touchingly universal.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard was born in Cebu City, Philippines. Her published works include Woman with Horns and Other Stories and Philippine Woman in America. She is also the editor of the anthology Fiction by Filipinos in America and teaches creative writing at the Writers' Program of UCLA Extension.

Praise / Awards

  • "A wonderful novel that shows how war brings out the best and the worst in people as it describes both the atrocities and the heroics that befall its characters."
    Associated Press
  • "Simple yet deeply moving prose. . . . The strengthening of the national spirit; the loss of innocence in two generations—these themes are explored with persuasive conviction and stark realism."
    Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • 5.25 x 8.
  • 232pp.
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Sales Restrictions

Our edition is unavailable in Philippines


  • Paper
  • 1999
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08637-5

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  • $19.95 U.S.