• By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

Art imitates life

This collection of short stories is a sidesplitting look at real-life events and autobiographical accounts that go into Zaldy Dandan’s fiction.

“Die! Bert! Die!” is composed of 10 short stories — some set in the Philippines, where Dandan grew up, and others on Saipan, which has been his home for almost three decades.

The stories are inspired by life’s raw material — including the author’s actual encounters, casual conversations and historical vignettes — transformed into art and the writing process itself. Each one is told with candor and wry humor and sprinkled with social commentaries. “Die! Bert! Die!” iss a testament to the author’s ardent attentiveness to details

Characters in each story include everyday people who are preoccupied with life’s dull routines, contract workers trapped in the pit of abysmal family responsibilities and expectations and boys obsessed with libidinous concerns.

“Die! Bert! Die!” is Dandan’s second book. Last year, he released “We'll Kiss Like It's Air and We're Running Out of It: Poems & Other Impieties.” Both books are available on amazon.com, BestSeller Saipan and BestSeller Guam.

Dandan is the editor of Marianas Variety and columnist for the Pacific Island Times.

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