Mia Alvar was born in the Philippines, but as a small child her family moved to Bahrain. A few years later, they moved again, this time to New York.
The cities of her childhood are the settings in her debut collection of short stories, In The Country. The nine stories feature very different characters, in and outside of the Philippines, who are grappling with some form of exile or emigration.
"Part of the project," she tells NPR's Arun Rath, "was getting behind the official, sometimes sentimental, narrative about overseas Filipino workers."