Nick Joaquin

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

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.

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