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The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic


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Celebrating the centennial of his birth, the first-ever U.S. publication of Philippine writer Nick Joaquin's seminal works, with a foreword by PEN/Open Book Award-winner Gina Apostol.

About the Author

Nick Joaquin (1917-2004) is widely considered the most important Filipino writer in English. A novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, journalist, and biographer, he was honored for his work as a National Artist of the Philippines.His works include two novels, The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Cave and Shadows; three collections of short fiction; two volumes of poetry; and numerous works of nonfiction.

Gina Apostol won the Philippine National Book Award for her first two novels, Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata. Her third novel, Gun Dealers' Daughter, was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize and won the PEN/Open Book Award. She lives in New York City and western Massachusetts.

Vicente L. Rafael a professor of history at the University of Washington, specializing in southeast Asian history. He has written widely on the political and cultural history of the Philippines, and his works include Contracting Colonialism, White Love and Other Events in Filipino History, The Promise of the Foreign, and, most recently,Motherless Tongues- The Insurgency of Language Amid Wars of Translation.


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 *

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