Penguin Classic’s SF Launch of Nick Joaquin Collection, April 26

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SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco launch of Penguin Classic’s The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic, by National Artist in Literature Nick Joaquin will be held on Wednesday, Wednesday, April 26, at the Philippine Center Social Hall, 5th Floor, .447 Sutter Street, 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:45 p.m.) The event is open and free to the public.

The book’s Foreword is by PEN/Open Book Award–winner Gina Apostol; the Introduction by Vicente L. Rafael, who will be among the special guests.

Celebrating the centennial of Joaquin’s birth, the event marks the first-ever U.S. publication of the writer’s seminal works. It is hosted by The Fourth Filipino American International Book Festival / Philippine American Writers and Artists (PAWA) in collaboration with the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, Penguin Classics Community Partners: Philippine Folklife Museum Foundation, Arkipelago Books

From the Penguin Classics webpage:


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.

Set amid the ruins of Manila devastated by World War II, his stories are steeped in the post-colonial anguish and hopes of his era and resonate with the ironic perspectives on colonial history of Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.

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 splendor and excess.

This collection features his best-known story, “The Woman Who Had Two Navels,” centered on Philippine emigrants living in Hong Kong and later expanded into a novel, the much-anthologized stories “May Day Eve” and “The Summer Solstice” and a canonic play, A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.

As Penguin Classics previously launched his countryman Jose Rizal to a wide audience, now Joaquin will find new readers with the first American collection of his work.



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