Noel Alumit’s first novel, the semi-epistolary Letters to Montgomery Clift, was a darkly sweet tale of a young Filipino gay boy named Bong Bong who comes to Los Angeles to escape torture in the Philippines’ repressive Marcos regime of the late 1970s. In his just-released Talking to the Moon, Alumit returns to familiar territory — literally, to Los Angeles — to perform a lyrical dismantling of the constructs of race, sexuality and spirituality. Inspired by the real-life shooting in 1999 of a Filipino postal worker, this second novel imagines what might happen to a family in the aftermath of just such a hate crime. There are more than 3 million of us Flips living in America these days, yet there is precious little by way of Filipino-American contemporary literature. Though still at the beginning of his career, Alumit, who writes about a people who were once upon a time the United States’ only experiment in colonialism, is already one of its most engaging voices. Noel Alumit reads at Vroman’s, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, Fri., March 2, 7 p.m.; and at Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd., Sat., March 3, 5 p.m.

LA Weekly