Philippine National Book Award–winner Apostol chronicles a country in political turmoil in her vertiginous American debut. Soledad Soliman lives in a Philippines under martial law and rife with violent opposition groups, but her life exists in a “gilded womb.” When she enters university in Manila, she encounters the poverty and political unrest of her country and soon falls for the charismatic Maoist Jed, realizing that “[t]o enter the gates of [her] country,” she must “give up [her] suite of custom-designed rooms and march.” As she becomes more involved with the movement, she confronts the sordid source of her family’s great wealth and begins to learn Philippine history from the perspective of her own people, deftly revealing the problematic relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines. Poetically told through the shattered prism of Sol’s memory (which reflects the revisionist history of her country and calls into question the very nature of truth and narrative), the reason for her madness comes to light as she recounts her own, and her country’s, rebellious and tragic past. Apostol (Bibliolepsy) offers an intriguing and significant view of Marcos-era Philippines in this complex and feverish novel. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/07/2012 Release date: 07/01/2012 Genre: Fiction
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