The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic
Nick Joaquin is widely considered one of the greatest Filipino writers, but he has remained little-known outside his home country despite writing in English. With the post-colonial sensibilities of Junot Diaz, Teju Cole, and Jhumpa Lahiri and an ironic perspective of colonial history resonant with Marques and Llosa, Joaquin is a long-neglected writer ready to join the ranks of the world classics. His work meditates on the questions and challenges of the Filipino individual's new freedom after a long history of colonialism, exploring folklore, centuries-old Catholic rites, the Spanish colonial past, magical realism, and baroque splendour and excess. This collection features his best-known story, 'The Woman Who Had Two Navels,' centred on Philippine emigrants living in Hong Kong and later expanded into a novel, the much-anthologised story 'May Day Eve,' and a canonical play, A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.
- Paperback | 448 pages
- 137 x 198 x 21mm | 338g
- 15 Aug 2017
- Penguin Books Ltd
- PENGUIN CLASSICS
- London, United Kingdom
Nick Joaquin is akin to Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the extravagant, surreal imagery of his stories, the fatalistic humor, the intricate weaving of history and memory, the spiritual and the sensual, the personal and the political. He is a writer deserving wider recognition, whose magical Macondo was the very real Philippines, in all its beauty, splendor and ruin. Behold this collection of marvels -- Jessica Hagedorn The Philippines is central to two empires, the Spanish and the American. Joaquin is central to the literature of the Philippines. To read Joaquin is to gain access to how three cultures intersected in the Pacific, mixing explosively with blood, violence, and fantasy in ways that foreshadow what is happening in the Philippines today. As with all great writers, Joaquin remains our contemporary -- Viet Thanh Nguyen Manila was Joaquin s birthplace and his muse; yet the priests, socialites, and activists who populate these pages also evoke a globetrotting intellect and a wondrous universe all his own. This book brilliantly captures the singular genius of Nick Joaquin, and will seduce readers everywhere who are meeting this giant of Philippine literature for the first time -- Mia Alvar One cannot overstate what Nick Joaquin is to Philippine literature. Writing in English with the melody of Spanish and Tagalog, Joaquin was the first Filipino writer to focus on the impossible contradictions of a tribal civilization overlain by Spanish and American world views. And because that tribal civilization was woman-centered, Joaquin's heroines are as complex, romantic and defiant as Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina -- Ninotchka Rosca A standout collection (...) a transporting read, and a fierce elegy for a past that never was * NPR * Steeped in Filipino history and culture, Joaquin's work is a welcome discovery * Kirkus Reviews *
About Nick Joaquin
Nick Joaquin is widely considered the most important Filipino writer in English. He was born in Manila in 1917 and received a scholarship to study at a Dominican monastery in Hong Kong. Upon his return, he took a job at the Philippines Free Press, beginning a long and successful career as a writer. A novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, journalist and biographer, he was honoured for his work as a National Artist of the Philippines. His works include the novel The Woman Who Had Two Navels, a play, A Portrait of the Artist as a Filipino, three collections of short fiction, two volumes of poetry, and numerous works of nonfiction. He died in 2004.