Ninotchka Rosca is an outstanding contemporary writer, human rights activist and feminist. She is the author of six books: her short story collections include Bitter Country and Monsoon Country; her two novels are State of War and Twice Blessed which earned the 1993 American Book Award for excellence in literature; and her books of non-fiction are Endgame: The Fall of Marcos and Jose Maria Sison: At Home in the World - Portrait of a Revolutionary. Rosca's short stories have been included in several anthologies, among them, the 1986 Best 100 Short Stories in the U.S. compiled by Raymond Carver and the Missouri Review Anthology. She is a two-time recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a frequent contributor to Ms. Magazine, The Nation, Village Voice, Q and other U.S. and European periodicals.
Rosca is an internationally-known activist for human rights. A political prisoner under the Marcos regime in the Philippines, she was forced into exile when threatened with a second arrest. Rosca has participated in numerous world forums and conferences for human rights. She serves on the board of the Survivors Committee, a network of former political prisoners and human rights activists. She has also been in leadership positions with Amnesty International and the PEN American Center.
Rosca was a founder and the first national chair of the GABRIELA Network (AF3IRM/GABnet), a Filipina-American women’s rights organization in the United States. She is the international spokesperson of GABRIELA Network's Purple Rose Campaign against the trafficking of women, with an emphasis on Filipinas. She is also a board member of The Sisterhood Is Global Institute and the initiating committee of Mariposa Alliance.
She was active in planning the UN Conference on Women which took place in Beijing, China. Rosca is particularly concerned with women's human rights focusing on the issues of sex tourism, trafficking, the mail-order bride industry, and violence against women.
For her achievements, Rosca has been designated as one of the 12 Asian American Women of Hope by the Bread and Roses Cultural Project. These women were chosen by scholars and community leaders for their courage, compassion and commitment in helping to shape society. They are considered role models for young people of color, who, in the words of Gloria Steinem, "have been denied the knowledge that greatness looks like them."
This novel was written nearly three decades ago but it was able to reflect the political situations we have in the present, which I think, says a lot. The political satire and the story of the Basbas twins was really good. But I have to admit that the writing style personally threw me off a lot of times that I almost gave up on it if not for how the story eventually picked up fast halfway. Overall, it was still a good read.
"I saw a nation struggling to be born." The Philippine politics is not far from this fiction. It's literally a mirror, a copy, and if you look at it in present context, with all the maneuvers unfolding and chess pieces falling into place, it becomes a retelling.
One candidate talks of fulfilling destiny, a chance to right (write) history again, to be twice blessed by this country's riches - once for his father and once again for the son, regardless of how empty the vessel of messiah he is.
Great narrative and it touched on the different senses. Its lengthy single-sentence paragraphs were more than a visual candy. What it lacked, however, is where the whole thing was leading. The readers were always hooked but never brought to the destination at the right time. The narration led from one place to another with each chapter and the transition devices were effective.
The language use was effective in evoking details during the claim to presidency of His Excellency (to-be). This was their primary goal throughout the novel and Rosca was able to divert each moment and still retain the structural integrity of the story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.