This article analyzes Carlos Bulosan’s America Is in the Heart and Ernesto Galarza’s Barrio Boy in tandem with Angeles Monrayo’s Tomorrow’s Memories. While both America Is in the Heart and Barrio Boy are considered foundational texts in ethnic studies, Tomorrow’s Memories (which offers Monrayo’s personal reflections about life as a Filipina in Hawai‘i and California during the 1920s) is less well known. Each of these books highlights a young narrator who is migrating under U.S. empire. Their narratives underscore the protagonists’ constant movement through the U.S. West in the search for labor and education, their growing independence from the core family unit, as well as their evolving political consciousness. A comparison of the books enables us to consider how gender shapes migration, place, and space, especially because Monrayo’s experience illuminates the male privilege of Bulosan’s and Galarza’s protagonists.

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