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

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  16 reviews
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 rank ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by Penguin Classics
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4.31  · 
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 ·  110 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asia
An amazing collection of stories. I'm glad that Penguin decided to include this in their Classics line and hope it would lead to a growing interest in Philippine literature internationally.

Joaquin deals with a lot of themes but his most prominent would have to be the clash between East and West as seen through the unique Filipino lens. My favorites have this running theme Summer Soltice, the Order of Melchidezek etc.

I especially liked 'A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino'. Even though the char
Fiamma Aletta
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nick Joaquin and his lyrical prose, simply magical. I almost forgot how much I've loved these surreal stories. This Penguin Classic Edition would make the Filipino in all of us proud. (It's an honor to be selected for printing by such a prestigious international book company.) Oh, also it's his Centennial this year. Time to make halungkat in your bauls for his reads.
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!

This took me 5 hours of intense debate to decide whether or not this would be a goodreads 4 stars or 5 stars. Honestly, its time that goodreads makes use of half star ratings. It would have saved me hours of my mouse hovering back and forth over 4 and 5 stars.

There is a total of 10 short stories along with a play at the end in this collection. Each story has the weight of a novel and after finishing each one I needed a break to digest what I had read. I swear after the last sentences
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had never heard of Joaquin, but the fantastic cover and intriguing title caught my eye. He should definitely be better known outside of the Philippines. I liked this collection more and more as I read - I didn't quite know what to make of the first story, Three Generations, and almost put it down at that point. I'm glad I didn't, because I found beautiful, sad, funny, and enlightening writing as I went on. He has an excellent writing style and much to tell us about his home country.
Greg Bem
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm so glad I discovered Nick Joaquin. I admit I was turned onto this book by way of its cover and the title, "Tales of the Tropical Gothic," which mesmerized and confused at the same time. Neither the cover or the title clearly demonstrates what's contained within, however. I found Joaquin an extension of my relationship with both European Modernist writers and Latin American writers of the mid-20th Century (including: Borges, Garcia Marquez, Bolano, etc.), but the fact that Joaquin is writing ...more
Eustacia Tan
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finally finished another book for the SEA Reading Challenge and this is probably my favourite book so far!

The Woman With Two Navels and tales of the tropical Gothic is a collection of short stories by Nick Joaquin, who is apparently very famous in Philippines but sadly unknown almost anywhere else (at least that's what I got from the introduction before I skipped it because I do not want to read literary analysis before I read the text).

These are stories that you experience rather than read. I'v
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Breathtaking. Some of it I had already read and were my first forays into feminist literature (SUMMER SOLSTICE, especially, played a huge part in my 'awakening' when I first encountered it at 15 y/o; MAY DAY EVE is a close second), and the ones I've only read now did not disappoint.

A story I can't forget days after having finished it: PORTRAIT. A true masterpiece of Philippine literature, and one whose praises I will always sing. I did not prefer MELKIZEDEK or the mass story very much; perhaps t
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
In retrospect, it appears that Nick Joaquin was one of the best short story writers of the 20th Century. And yet despite his having written in English, he is hardly known by anyone who is not Filipino. So perhaps we should remedy that oversight and all read this book.

I don't think he's as strong a playwright as a prose writer--"A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino" has some compelling stagecraft in the first two scenes, but lapses into melodrama and sentimentality in the third. But unlike the pl
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a great collection of stories, and I hope that more of Joaquin's work becomes available to U.S. audiences. I am, in fact, buying my own copy after borrowing it from the library. Joaquin's writing is lyrical, his imagery is beautiful, and his characters are fully dimensional. While his stories hold an aspect of surrealism and magic, everything is oddly down to earth. If the stories weren't set in Manila I would believe he were writing about my home. But this collection is Filipino to its ...more
K's Bognoter
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
Nick Joaquín (1917-2004) er bredt anerkendt som en af de væsentligste filippinske forfattere i det 20. århundrede. Jeg tror dog ikke kun, at det er en projektion af min egen uvidenhed indtil for nylig, hvis jeg antager, at hans navn et færreste danske læsere bekendt. Men det er en skam, for Joaquín er et ganske spændende bekendtskab.

Læs min omtale af antologien "The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic" på K's bognoter:
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I might be biased because my Filipino boyfriend offered me this book for me to discover and understand more the Philippines, its people and its culture.

Some might say it is a bit outdated to understand the contemporary Philippines but I was alright for me. I really learned many stuffs and my knowledge greatly improved.

Joaquin's writing is stunning. I fell in love with it.

Really, that is a book I will remember for a long time. And I will read it again for sure!
Bim Santos
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A collection of utterly timeless canonical stories that just gets better as they age
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading the world in books: Philippines.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have not read every story in this book, but I have read several including the title story and I can safely say Nick Joaquin is one of my new favorites. I am so glad Penguin made an accessible and affordable collection of his short stories. He’s a gothic Gabriel García Marquez. His stories have magic, ghosts, and investigate the brokenness of colonial and post colonial life. I plan to read the rest of the collection after I return from England, but I wanted to get my thoughts on this author out ...more
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Nicomedes Márquez Joaquín (May 4, 1917–April 29, 2004) was a Filipino writer, historian and journalist, best known for his short stories and novels in the English language. He also wrote using the pen name Quijano de Manila. Joaquin was conferred the rank and title of National Artist of the Philippines for Literature.

After Jose Rizal and Claro M. Recto, both writers in spanish language, he is cons