Rough day at work, but I finished reading The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri while waiting in Dupont Circle metro station. I enjoyed Interpreter of Maladies, and enjoyed this one too. Although obviously immigrants from India and the Philippines are different, the common elements were still striking: well-educated parents speaking accented English; the "public" name and the "private" name; the long, disconcerting trips to the home country; the parents speaking in the mother language and the kids responding in English; heavy aromatic food; taking shoes off and wearing flip-flops in the house; pressure for good schools and "solid" professions; general teenage embarrassment complicated by shame and remorse from being different; inter-racial dating; the large, loud, substitute extended family; parents feeling that life in America is temporary and planning for retirement in the home country; I could go on.
There is some contemporary Fil-Am literature in the same genre. Off the top of my head I think of Her Wild American Self by M. Evelina Galang. Or maybe the film The Debut. Maybe I'll write up my own story. Some day.
Our House in the Last World by Oscar Hijuelos. I like all of his books, but this one is more about immigrant children.
The Aguero Sisters by Cristina Garcia. Actually, I like all of her books too, I just read The Handbook to Luck
There's some great 'identity literature' in Australia. One of my favourite books as a teenager was 'Looking for Alibrandi' the fictional story of a young woman dealing with her family heritage and history through three generations of Italian-Australian women. Another favourite is a true story that was published recently, 'Unpolished Gem' http://www.theage.com.au/news/book-reviews/unpolished-gem/2006/09/01/1156817080625.html