5 questions with Cinelle Barnes

"Having a child in your arms reminds you that you are holding, quite literally, the next generation — the next set of characters to people this world, and you, along with your DNA, values, and habits, are passing on, most of all, generational memory. I thought that perhaps if I released all this information, this trauma, onto the page, transformed it into something physical (like a book), even something beautiful, I wouldn’t have to transfer it to or into my daughter. Instead, I could create something that could serve as a roadmap for her, and coincidentally, for other people, so that we do not repeat history — personal and political at that."

Cinelle Barnes is an essayist and memoirist from Manila, Philippines. She has received fellowships and scholarships from Kundiman and Voices of the Nations Arts, and is the incoming writer-in-residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Her work has appeared in Catapult, Buzzfeed, and Literary Hub, among others. Her debut memoir, MONSOON MANSION (May 2018, Little A), has been an Amazon Bestseller and Amazon First Reads Editor’s Pick, and a Booklist Starred Review. Her forthcoming essay collection, ORACLE, will be out in fall 2019.

Hilary Rikard