Pier 9, Murdoch Books Australia, 2005
Anvil Publishing, Manila, 2005
Delta, Random USA, 2009
Close to midnight, when the heart bows from the stem, wait for its first dew. It will drop like a gem. Catch it with your tongue. When you eat the heart of the matter, you’ll never grow hungry again.
In her lush debut novel, Merlinda Bobis offers a feast for the senses. Lyrical, funny and elegiac, Banana Heart Summer is a tale of food, family and longing — at once a love letter to mothers and daughters and a celebration of friendship and community.
Twelve-year-old Nenita is hungry. Growing up poor, she finds magic in the myth of the banana heart and comfort in cooking for the most beautiful woman on Remedios Street. To Nenita, food is like her mother’s love, out of reach and much desired like the fragrant sticky rice with sweet anise, the sorrowful peccadillo, or the spicy Bicol Express that whet and challenge the palate and the heart — how to endure this delectable argument of flavours; how to find the balance between love and anger.