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Fiction: Literary, History
Unabridged   10 hour(s)
Publication date: 11/13/2018

PW Best Books of 2018
BuzzFeed Best Fiction of 2018
Dayton Literary Peace Prize Finalist


Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684414086
Digital Download ISBN:9781684414093


Within the spiraling voices and narrative layers of Insurrecto are stories of women—artists, lovers, revolutionaries, daughters—finding their way to their own truths and histories. Using interlocking voices and a kaleidoscopic structure, the novel is startlingly innovative, meditative, and playful.

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Product Description

Two women, a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker, go on a road trip in Duterte's Philippines, collaborating and clashing in the writing of a film script about a massacre during the Philippine-American War. Chiara is working on a film about an incident in Balangiga, Samar, in 1901, when Filipino revolutionaries attacked an American garrison, and in retaliation American soldiers created "a howling wilderness" of the surrounding countryside. Magsalin reads Chiara's film script and writes her own version. Insurrecto contains within its dramatic action two rival scripts from the filmmaker and the translator—one about a white photographer, the other about a Filipino schoolteacher.

Insurrecto masterfully questions and twists narrative in the manner of Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch, and Nabokov's Pale Fire. But at its heart this is a novel of emotional power that grapples with our endless ability to erase the past. Apostol pushes up against the limits of fiction in order to recover the atrocity in Balangiga, and in so doing, she shows us the dark heart of an untold and forgotten war that would shape the next century of Philippine and American history.


“Eyre creates smooth transitions between the perspectives of American filmmaker Chiara and Filipino translator Magsalin.” —AudioFile

"[A] magnificent book that begs for a second reading." —BuzzFeed

"Apostol fearlessly probes the long shadow of forgotten American imperialism in the Philippines in her ingenious novel of competing filmmakers . . . layers of narrative, pop culture references, and blurring of history and fiction make for a profound and unforgettable journey into the past and present of the Philippines." —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Shrewd . . . inventive . . . stinging . . . [Apostol] puts the "unremembered" Philippine-American War on display, deftly exposing a complicated colonial legacy through the unlikely relationship between a U.S.-educated Filipino translator and a visiting American filmmaker . . . Exceptionally rewarding." —Booklist Starred Review

"Dazzling, interlocking narratives on history, truth, and storytelling." —Kirkus Reviews

Author Bio

Gina Apostol is the PEN/Open Award winning author of Gun Dealers' Daughter, as well as a two time winner of the National Book Award in the Philippines for her novels Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and journals.