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Letters to Montgomery Clift [Hardcover]

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Item description for Letters to Montgomery Clift by Noel Alumit...

"I started my life in America and my search for my parents, well only my mother now--- with Monty as my guide. The journey to find my mother would not be complete without him." And so begins Letters To Montgomery Clift, a first novel by Noel Alumit; a coming of age story of Bong Bong Luwad, a Filipino boy, who enlists the spirit of 1950s screen idol Montgomery Clift to help him find his mother who is imprisoned in the Philippines under the Marcos regime.

After being sent to America by his mother, he is taught by his Aunt to write letters to saints and dead relatives to ask them for favors. As he watches the movie The Search, where Montgomery Clift helps a young boy find his mother, he starts to believe that Monty can do this for him. His letters begin and through time he starts to see visions of Monty himself.

As he reaches adolescence and his hopes of finding his mother diminish, Bong Bong begins to fall deeper into his fantasy world with Clift.

When eventually he travels back to his homeland and finds the whereabouts of his mother, he is able to bid a final farewell to Monty and begin his life anew back in the States with his family. Letters To Montgomery Clift is a novel of endurance and hope. It is a tale of growing up, coming out and going home.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   244
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.25" Height: 0.92"
Weight:   1.12 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2002
Publisher   MacAdam/Cage
ISBN  1931561028  
ISBN13  9781931561020  

Availability  0 units.

More About Noel Alumit

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Noel Alumit was born in Philippines and earned his Bachelors of fine arts in drama from the University of Southern California.

Noel Alumit was born in 1968.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States

Reviews - What do customers think about Letters to Montgomery Clift?

Brutally honest and often heartbreaking  Mar 28, 2008
Alumit's first novel "Letters to Montgomery Clift" is a coming of age story unlike any other. I was afraid that the Montgomery Clift name in the title would serve as a hook that would be hard to pull off in a believable way. Quite the opposite. The persona of Clift flows through the story and deepens the struggle of this character to make sense of a miriad of issues. Despite the inclusion of so many charged issues - political protest, torture, foster care, abortion, growing up gay, mental illness - none of them is sensationalized or dealt with in a stereotypical manner.

The story is told from the point of view of Bong (Bob) from the age of 8 to his late twenties. The story ultimately delivers answers and provides some closure but never falls into predictable story formulas.

I highly recommend this book. It is not always an easy read, but it is always honest and beautifully written.
Moving and touching, humorous exploration of young gay life  Aug 3, 2006
This is a wonderful piece of early essay writing, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone (dare I say it!)
The Debut  Jul 31, 2004
What an impressive debut book. "Letters to Montgomery Clift" is moving, compelling, and a bit funny. Like others who have reviewed the book, I also was not able to put down the book once I started reading it. I was completely engulfed in the main character's world--feeling his challenges, hopes, anger and awakenings.

If you get a chance, see Noel Alumit performances--the one I saw was brilliant!
A good debut!  May 21, 2004
A friend of mine recently gave me this book. The story sounded interesting and I decided to crack it open and give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised by this debut novel written by author Noel Alumit. It begins with Bong Bong, a young Filipino boy who is sent away from his home by his mother during the vicious Marcos regime. She promises her son that one day she and his father will join him as he is sent away to live with his Aunt Yuna in California. Once there, life for the young man becomes worse, as we learn that Yuna is an alcoholic, who resents taking care of the young boy and begins verbally and physically abusing him. As a source of comfort, the young boy begins to write to handsome Hollywood 50's idol, Montgomery Clift. Clift becomes his guardian angel and a confidant. Over time, however, the letters lead way to mental illness as the young man tries to deal with his blossoming sexual orientation and the fact that he may never see his parents again. He begins a path of self abuse and hurting those that care for him. Although the ending is a little bit too convienent, the story is good overall and worth reading. I recommend it.
A strong first novel about the bond between mother and son  Jan 21, 2004
In the Philippines during 1976, a very young Bong Bong Luwad is put safely on a plane to America by his mother Cessy to stay with her sister Yuna. She promises to come to the US as soon as she found his father.

Living with Auntie Yuna is like a hell on earth for Bong, and all the while he holds on to hope of reuniting with his mother. It's during his stay with Yuna that he first discovers Montgomery Clift, in a film titled "The Search." Leaving a permanent impression on Bong, he writes letters to Monty, even though he knows that he's dead, asking for his guidance. These letters help him through the many tough patches to come in to his life: life with of Yuna, being thrown into the foster care system, discovering a dark secret about his foster family, learning about the fate of his family, and dealing with his own sexualtiy.

This is an engrossing story of separation, loss, love and hope, and told from a view that isn't heard to often in literature: a Filipino perspective view of the world and of sexuality. Bong Bong is a strong character, not only in dealing with his own coming out, but with the realization of what happened to his family. He is likable and you want him to succeed. At the heart of the story, though, is the bond between mother and son; that's what drives Bong to suffer through the ups and downs, hoping that in the end everything will be okay, that he will be with his mother again.

A strong first novel.


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