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Fish-Hair Woman

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  64 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Winner of the Most Underrated Book Award 2013

How much can the heart accommodate? Death and love, an enemy and a sweetheart, war and an impassioned serenade, and more. Only four chambers, but with infinite space like memory, where there is room even for those whom we do not love.

Fish-Hair Woman is a novel of many rooms running between love and war. In 1987 the Philippine
Paperback, 303 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Spinifex Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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I was blown away by this book. There was magic realism, a study of a family caught within a revolution where the members adopt different sides, bodies dumped in a river at night, murder and mystery, Government cover-ups, corruption and young love. Entrancing.
The writing is very different and adopts different styles as it describes the images of Estrella and her 12 metre long hair, to Luke's search for his father, and the memories of the various characters.
Ivy Catherine
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Change the rating into 4. I was talking about this to a friend and I realize how much I like the way the tangles unfolds through out the story. I like (but too painful) how Merlinda Bobis depicts the life during martial law specially if you are a civilian caugh inbetween a war (NPA, Gvt Army and Private Army).

I can't remember the last time I read a Filipiniana book with magical realism as it's theme (or if I read any). For me, it is hard to connect magical realism with historical fiction (that
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Very confusing, to say the least. It starts off relatively simple, telling the story of a village caught in the midst of bigger political battles. But by the end, you're left questioning everything: who's writing the narrative, and to whom, and what is fiction versus the truth (not that fiction can't tell the truth). The language is lovely and lyrical at times (I felt it a bit heavy handed at some points, but overall very beautiful). I would recommend it if you're interested in interrogating not ...more
Ramon Paolo
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ecstatically surreal and politically relevant
Charlotte Guzman
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
We all have our own pools of sadness, and how does one surface from such tragic ordeals? This is just one of the questions that Bobis in this amazing book, which skillfully weaves in and out of the political turmoil in Bobis' hometown tries to answer.
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Okay random plot questions (spoilers)


I'm confused: did everyone basically have dual identities? And how did Estrella end up leaving and living in Hawaii?

When was Mayor Reyes and Alvarado the same person? HUH?
May 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Grace, yes. But I couldn't understand much of anything.
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Merlinda Carullo Bobis is a contemporary Philippine-Australian writer and academic. Also a dancer and visual artist, Bobis currently teaches at Wollongong University.

Born in Legaspi City, in the Philippines province of Albay, Merlinda Bobis attended Bicol University High School then completed her B.A. at Aquinas University in Legaspi City. She holds post-graduate degrees from the University of San
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