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Recent events in the Philippines - the 1986 People Power Revolution, the ouster of President Marcos, the election of Corazon Aquino, and the coup of 1989 - are the backdrop of this new novel by a celebrated Filipina writer. She focuses on the experiences of the people in and beyond Gulod, a barrio that "has spread like a field sown by a blind hand" on the outskirts of Manila, on the fringes of power, in the tangled roots of dreams. The story is told through the conflicting lives and ambitions of disillusioned lawyer Benhur, the politician Osong for whom he works, Osong's wife Sally, the retired Col. Moscoso, and many others whose potent but fragile hopes are shaped and destroyed in a context of ceaseless revolutionary change. Linda Ty-Casper combines historical objectivity with convincing moral authority and provides readers with a remarkable sense of people and place, a leap of insight into what it is to live in the Philippines today at a critical juncture in the nation's history. Research in newspaper archives and interviews with participants in the revolution inform her narrative. The events are actual; her fictional characters are believable; her prose is sardonic, compassionate, and virtuosic.
University of Washington Press
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