When the Elephants Dance

4.04 avg rating
( 2,456 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780142002889: When the Elephants Dance

“Papa explains the war like this: ‘When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful.’ The great beasts, as they circle one another, shaking the trees and trumpeting loudly, are the Amerikanos and the Japanese as they fight. And our Philippine Islands? We are the small chickens.”

Once in a great while comes a storyteller who can illuminate worlds large and small, magical and true to life. When the Elephants Dance   introduces us to the incandescent voice of Tess Uriza Holthe, who sets her remarkable first novel in the waning days of World War II, as the Japanese and the Americans engage in a fierce battle for possession of the Philippine Islands. The Karangalan family and their neighbors huddle for survival in the cellar of a house a few miles from Manila. Outside the safety of their little refuge the war rages on—fiery bombs torch the beautiful Filipino countryside, Japanese soldiers round up and interrogate innocent people, and from the hills guerillas wage a desperate campaign against the enemy. Inside the cellar, these men, women, and children put their hopes and dreams on hold as they wait out the war, only emerging to look for food, water, and medicine.

Through the eyes of three narrators, thirteen-year-old Alejandro Karangalan, his spirited older sister Isabelle, and Domingo, a passionate guerilla commander, we see how ordinary people must learn to live in the midst of extraordinary uncertainty, how they must find hope for survival where none seems to exist. They find this hope in the dramatic history of the Philippine Islands and the passion and bravery of its people. Crowded together in the cellar, the Karangalans and their friends and neighbors tell magical stories to one another based on Filipino myth and legend to fuel their courage, pass the time, and teach important lessons. The group is held spellbound by these stories, which feature a dazzling array of ghosts, witches, supernatural creatures, and courageous Filipinos who changed the course of history with their actions. These profoundly moving stories transport the listeners from the chaos of the war around them and give them new resolve to fight on.

With When the Elephants Dance Holthe has not only written a gripping narrative of how Alejandro, Isabelle, Domingo and their community fight for survival, but a loving tribute to the magical realism that infuses Filipino culture. The stories shared by her characters are based on the same tales handed down to Holthe from her Filipino father and lola, her grandmother. This stunning debut novel is the first to celebrate in such richness and depth the spirit of the Filipino people and their fascinating story and marks the introduction of a talented new author who will join the ranks of writers such as Arundhati Roy, Manil Suri, and Amy Tan.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Tess Uriza Holthe writes with a mixture of metaphor and fact, a combination of the supernatural and the all-too-real. When the Elephants Dance opens, in fact, with an apposite metaphor for a horrible reality: "Papa explains the war like this: 'When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful.'" The elephants in question are the Americans and the Japanese, fighting for possession of the Philippines. The chickens are, of course, the ordinary Filipinos. Three of these "chickens" by turns tell us the story of the Japanese occupation as a small neighborhood near Manila literally goes underground, hiding in the cellar and swapping stories. Holthe takes her onus as a seminal Filipino voice seriously; she sometimes seems determined to cram every bit of tradition, history, and myth into her novel, to the detriment of the plot's propulsion. But readers who stay with her will be rewarded with an extraordinary display of historical color, and will certainly root for her three narrators. --Claire Dederer

From the Back Cover:

When the Elephants Dance is a moving and vivid tribute to the power of love, hope, and storytelling during a time of crisis.” —Kevin Baker, author of Dreamland

“A magical and powerful tale of a makeshift family of villagers, trying to survive by courage and imagination during Japan’s brutal occupation of the Philippines in World War II—a part of history we always need to remember.” —Lisa Huang Fleischman, author of Dream of the Walled City

When the Elephants Dance is a fascinating journey into what is, for most of us, unknown territory. Tess Uriza Holthe takes us into the heart of the Philippine struggle for freedom with its heroes, its turncoats, its brutality, and the poetry of its folklore.” —Jacqueline Park, author of The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi

“In the same breath sensual and political, urgent and transporting, Hothe’s brave novel tantalizes as it inspires.” —Laurie Fox, author of My Sister from the Black Lagoon

When the Elephants Dance is far more than a beautifully written, emotionally moving, and searing description of what it’s like to survive a war, it is an important artifact, within which is preserved the history and poetry of a culture. Its images, characters, and stories will remain with you forever.” —Peter Moore Smith, author of Raveling

“Romantic and patriotic heroes fill this WWII-set debut; a remarkably rich story about a disparate group of Filipinos thrown together in their struggle to survive the Japanese occupation. . . . A well-orchestrated chorus of voices that should strike a chord with many.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Holthe, Tess Uriza
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 10: 0142002887 ISBN 13: 9780142002889
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Mesilla Internet
(Mesilla, NM, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0142002887 New. Bookseller Inventory # Z0142002887ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
4.46
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.03
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Holthe, Tess Uriza
Published by Penguin Books 2003-07-01 (2003)
ISBN 10: 0142002887 ISBN 13: 9780142002889
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
BookOutlet
(Thorold, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books 2003-07-01, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9780142002889B

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
3.13
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.56
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Holthe, Tess Uriza
ISBN 10: 0142002887 ISBN 13: 9780142002889
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2003. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VP-9780142002889

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.03
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Holthe, Tess Uriza
Published by Penguin (Non-Classics) (2003)
ISBN 10: 0142002887 ISBN 13: 9780142002889
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
pickabook
(San francisco, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin (Non-Classics), 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000169265

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.86
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.03
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Holthe, Tess Uriza (Author)
Published by Penguin Random House
ISBN 10: 0142002887 ISBN 13: 9780142002889
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Random House. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0142002887

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.28
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.66
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Holthe, Tess Uriza
ISBN 10: 0142002887 ISBN 13: 9780142002889
New Quantity Available: 16
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2003. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780142002889

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.03
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Tess Uriza Holthe
Published by Penguin Publishing Group, United States (2009)
ISBN 10: 0142002887 ISBN 13: 9780142002889
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Publishing Group, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Papa explains the war like this: When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful. The great beasts, as they circle one another, shaking the trees and trumpeting loudly, are the Amerikanos and the Japanese as they fight. And our Philippine Islands? We are the small chickens. Once in a great while comes a storyteller who can illuminate worlds large and small, magical and true to life. When the Elephants Dance introduces us to the incandescent voice of Tess Uriza Holthe, who sets her remarkable first novel in the waning days of World War II, as the Japanese and the Americans engage in a fierce battle for possession of the Philippine Islands. The Karangalan family and their neighbors huddle for survival in the cellar of a house a few miles from Manila. Outside the safety of their little refuge the war rages on--fiery bombs torch the beautiful Filipino countryside, Japanese soldiers round up and interrogate innocent people, and from the hills guerillas wage a desperate campaign against the enemy. Inside the cellar, these men, women, and children put their hopes and dreams on hold as they wait out the war, only emerging to look for food, water, and medicine. Through the eyes of three narrators, thirteen-year-old Alejandro Karangalan, his spirited older sister Isabelle, and Domingo, a passionate guerilla commander, we see how ordinary people must learn to live in the midst of extraordinary uncertainty, how they must find hope for survival where none seems to exist. They find this hope in the dramatic history of the Philippine Islands and the passion and bravery of its people. Crowded together in the cellar, the Karangalans and their friends and neighbors tell magical stories to one another based on Filipino myth and legend to fuel their courage, pass the time, and teach important lessons. The group is held spellbound by these stories, which feature a dazzling array of ghosts, witches, supernatural creatures, and courageous Filipinos who changed the course of history with their actions. These profoundly moving stories transport the listeners from the chaos of the war around them and give them new resolve to fight on. With When the Elephants Dance Holthe has not only written a gripping narrative of how Alejandro, Isabelle, Domingo and their community fight for survival, but a loving tribute to the magical realism that infuses Filipino culture. The stories shared by her characters are based on the same tales handed down to Holthe from her Filipino father and lola, her grandmother. This stunning debut novel is the first to celebrate in such richness and depth the spirit of the Filipino people and their fascinating story and marks the introduction of a talented new author who will join the ranks of writers such as Arundhati Roy, Manil Suri, and Amy Tan. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142002889

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Holthe, Tess Uriza
Published by Penguin Books 6/24/2003 (2003)
ISBN 10: 0142002887 ISBN 13: 9780142002889
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books 6/24/2003, 2003. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. When the Elephants Dance. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780142002889

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Tess Uriza Holthe
Published by Penguin Publishing Group, United States (2009)
ISBN 10: 0142002887 ISBN 13: 9780142002889
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Publishing Group, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Papa explains the war like this: When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful. The great beasts, as they circle one another, shaking the trees and trumpeting loudly, are the Amerikanos and the Japanese as they fight. And our Philippine Islands? We are the small chickens. Once in a great while comes a storyteller who can illuminate worlds large and small, magical and true to life. When the Elephants Dance introduces us to the incandescent voice of Tess Uriza Holthe, who sets her remarkable first novel in the waning days of World War II, as the Japanese and the Americans engage in a fierce battle for possession of the Philippine Islands. The Karangalan family and their neighbors huddle for survival in the cellar of a house a few miles from Manila. Outside the safety of their little refuge the war rages on--fiery bombs torch the beautiful Filipino countryside, Japanese soldiers round up and interrogate innocent people, and from the hills guerillas wage a desperate campaign against the enemy. Inside the cellar, these men, women, and children put their hopes and dreams on hold as they wait out the war, only emerging to look for food, water, and medicine. Through the eyes of three narrators, thirteen-year-old Alejandro Karangalan, his spirited older sister Isabelle, and Domingo, a passionate guerilla commander, we see how ordinary people must learn to live in the midst of extraordinary uncertainty, how they must find hope for survival where none seems to exist. They find this hope in the dramatic history of the Philippine Islands and the passion and bravery of its people. Crowded together in the cellar, the Karangalans and their friends and neighbors tell magical stories to one another based on Filipino myth and legend to fuel their courage, pass the time, and teach important lessons. The group is held spellbound by these stories, which feature a dazzling array of ghosts, witches, supernatural creatures, and courageous Filipinos who changed the course of history with their actions. These profoundly moving stories transport the listeners from the chaos of the war around them and give them new resolve to fight on. With When the Elephants Dance Holthe has not only written a gripping narrative of how Alejandro, Isabelle, Domingo and their community fight for survival, but a loving tribute to the magical realism that infuses Filipino culture. The stories shared by her characters are based on the same tales handed down to Holthe from her Filipino father and lola, her grandmother. This stunning debut novel is the first to celebrate in such richness and depth the spirit of the Filipino people and their fascinating story and marks the introduction of a talented new author who will join the ranks of writers such as Arundhati Roy, Manil Suri, and Amy Tan. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142002889

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.55
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Holthe, Tess Uriza
Published by Penguin Books (2003)
ISBN 10: 0142002887 ISBN 13: 9780142002889
New Paperback Quantity Available: 6
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # 0142002887

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.16
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 1.51
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book