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The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata

The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata

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“Raymundo Mata” was first published in the Philippines in 2009 and won the country’s National Book Award. She writes historical fiction like Hilary Mantel on acid.---New York Times Book Review

Jose Rizal, who was executed by the Spanish for his revolutionary activities and is considered by many to be the father of Philippine independence.

In telling the contested and fragmentary story of Mata, Apostol finds new ways to depict the violence of the Spanish colonial era, and to reimagine the nation’s great writer.

The novel takes the form of a memoir by one Raymundo Mata, a half-blind bookworm and revolutionary, tracing his childhood, his education in Manila, his love affairs, and his discovery of writer and fellow revolutionary, Jose Rizal. The 19th-century story is complicated by present-day foreword(s), afterword(s), and footnotes from three fiercely quarrelsome and comic voices: a nationalist editor, a neo-Freudian psychoanalyst critic, and a translator, Mimi C. Magsalin.

“The American Revolution had farmers and dentists. The French Revolution had a mob of lawyers…Our prime mover was a poet…The Philippines may be the only country whose war of independence began with a novel (and a first novel at that).”

Gina Apostol lives in New York City and western Massachusetts and grew up in Tacloban, Leyte, in the Philippines. She teaches at the Fieldston School in New York City.Her fourth novel, Insurrecto, was named by Publishers' Weekly one of the Ten Best Books of 2018. Her third book, Gun Dealers' Daughter, won the 2013 PEN/Open Book Award. Her first two novels, Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, both won the Juan Laya Prize for the Novel (Philippine National Book Award).

Additional Information:

  • Author: Gina Apostol
  • Published 2021
  • 360 pages, softcover
  • 8 ½ x 5 ¾ inches


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