• Gina Apostol
Cover of Insurrecto: A Novel

Histories and personalities collide in this literary tour-de-force about the Philippines present and Americas past by the PEN Open Book Award-winning author of Gun Dealers Daughter. Two women, a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker, go on a road trip in Dutertes Philippines, collaborating and clashing in the writing of a film script about a massacre during the Philippine-American War. Chiara is working on a film about an incident in Balangiga, Samar, in 1901, when Filipino revolutionaries attacked an American garrison, and in retaliation American soldiers created ‘a howling wilderness of the surrounding countryside. Magsalin reads Chiaras film script and writes her own version. Insurrecto contains within its dramatic action two rival scripts from the filmmaker and the translator--one about a white photographer, the other about a Filipino schoolteacher. Within the spiraling voices and narrative layers of Insurrecto are stories of women--artists, lovers, revolutionaries, daughters--finding their way to their own truths and histories. Using interlocking voices and a kaleidoscopic structure, the novel is startlingly innovative, meditative, and playful. Insurrecto masterfully questions and twists narrative in the manner of Italo Calvinos If on a Winters Night a Traveler, Julio Cortazars Hopscotch, and Nabokovs Pale Fire. Apostol pushes up against the limits of fiction in order to recover the atrocity in Balangiga, and in so doing, she shows us the dark heart of an untold and forgotten war that would shape the next century of Philippine and American history.--Provided by publisher.


Apostol, Gina. Insurrecto: A Novel. New York: Soho, 2018.