The Man in the McIntosh Suit

mcintoshcover-scaled-1, man running with san francisco in the background

Deemed “one of the finest modern works of noir,” (Jeff Provine, Blogcritics) The Man in the McIntosh Suit is a Filipino-American take on Depression-era noir featuring mistaken identities, speakeasies, and lost love.

The year is 1929 and Bobot is just another migrant worker in rural California. Or rather, a migrant worker with a law degree from the Philippines reduced to manual labor in America. Bobot, like so many other young Filipinos, finds himself bunking in the fields picking fruit by day. When his cousin writes claiming to have spotted his estranged wife in nearby San Francisco, he swipes a co-worker’s favorite nightclub suit and heads to the big city to find her. What follows is classic noir with seedy dives, mouthy pool sharks, and obsession.

Spring 2023, 212 pp, Full color, $24.95 USD /$29.95 CAD
ISBN: 9781770466661

Praise for The Man in the McIntosh Suit

“Ayuyang’s Chagall-esque art gracefully captures both the antics of Bobot’s friends and family, which punctuate the narrative with levity like sunshine breaking through the San Francisco fog, and more quiet moments: the sinuous lines of a nightclub performance, the romantic swoon of a stolen kiss, a solitary walk in the city. Throughout, the undercurrents of loneliness and racial prejudice add depth. This melancholic yet glimmering story brings to life a generation of immigrants often overlooked by histories of the period.”

—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“A colorful and richly textured graphic novel….Ayuyang spins a captivating tale that is both an homage to starry-eyed Hollywood movies of the period and a corrective that highlights the anti-Asian racism faced by immigrants as well as the thriving communities they formed. …Our verdict: Get It!”

—Kirkus Review

“Set against a historically accurate anti-Asian backdrop (some things never change), Ayuyang deftly intertwines a heart-thumping mystery with didn’t-see-that-happening love stories (yes, plural!).”

—ALA Booklist

“It might seem tough to come up with a new way to tell noir fiction stories, but Rina Ayuyang’s done it, and beautifully.”

—The Toronto Star

“Tight, compelling, evocative, Rina Ayuyang’s The Man in the McIntosh Suittransports us to a colonial-era Philippines and a California of migrant workers and hardscrabble opportunities, set to a soundtrack of loss and 1920s love songs. She vividly reminds us that the Filipino Dream was once the American Dream, and that both are but the shared aspiration of humanity towards a better future. In this intriguing noir-esque tale of many twists, love is the real mystery, along with the universal search for one’s place in the world. This is a beautiful, lyrical book of images and insight. Read it!”

—Miguel Syjuco, author of Man Asia Literary Prize winner Illustrado

“Perhaps what I love most is that in a history heavy with abject, state-sanctioned racism towards Filipinos, The Man in the McIntosh Suit reconnects us to the truth that Filipinx American communities of the early 20th century thrived and existed polylithically: They were heroes and villains, feminist and sexist, straight and Queer, honest and mobster, survivalists and activists, in conflict and at peace. They lived with pain, joy, longing, humor and everything in between.”

—Christine Pasalo Norland, Hello Barkada

“A fast-paced thriller of a story combining history with heartbreak, Rina Ayuyang’s graphic novel mixes Manong lore with an individual’s dreams.”

—Gina Apostol, author of Insurrecto

“Rina Ayuyang’s The Man in the McIntosh Suit is a cracking good story, and also a moving account of becoming American, with all of the peril, loss and pain it entailed for 20th century Filipino immigrants. Ayuyang undergirds her lively art, full of cinematic pizazz, with a thoughtfully designed plot and a memorable hero.”

—Megan Kelso, creator of Who Will Make the Pancakes: Five Stories

Sample Pages