Insurrecto by Gina Apostol


Histories and personalities collide in this literary tour-de-force about the Philippines' present and America's past by the PEN Open Book Award–winning author of Gun Dealer's Daughter.Two women, a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker, go on a road trip in Duterte’s 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 ...

Details Insurrecto

Release DateNov 13th, 2018
PublisherSoho Press
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction, Cultural, Asia, Historical, Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction

Reviews Insurrecto

  • Marchpane
    Kaleidoscopic metafiction in the PhilippinesTowards the beginning of Insurrecto there is a reference to Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, an early 20th century artwork inspired by stop-motion photography, which depicts a figure in motion using overlapping abstract forms. This is a clue, one of many, to the book’s approach: if Insurrecto was a painting it would be a cubist one, the narrative broken apart and reassembled in highly stylised...
  • Eugene
    A polymath's lyricism is woven with post-colonial tristesse. A deft and labyrinthine depiction of our helpless condition of ever-revolving insurrection, Gina Apostol has created an elegant mise en abyme wherein the colonizer and the colonized reflect themselves over and over and yet over again.
  • Gabe
    One of the best novels of the year.
  • Miranda Hency
    So complex and mind-boggling and incredibly meta, but so so worth it at the end.
  • Samantha Shaw
    From the PEN Open Book Award-winning author of Gun Dealers’ Daughter, Gina Apostol, comes Insurrecto, a haunting tribute to America’s past and present for the people of the Philippines. Woven between the parallel storylines of Filipino translator Magsalin and American filmmaker Chiara emerges a brilliant narrative. While Chiara works on a film script about a massacre during the Philippine-American War in 1901, the reader gets an understanding...
  • L A
    I received an advanced reading copy of Insurrecto from NetGalley and Soho Press in exchange for an honest review.I was quite interested to read this as the Philippines is not an area of the world I am very familiar with and I was looking forward to gaining an insight into the culture and some of the country’s history and culture. The book vividly describes the bustle, heat and culture of the Philippine setting. The characters initially seem com...
  • Annie
    Insurrecto, by Gina Apostal, is a strange hybrid of a novel. It encapsulates the Balangiga Massacre of 1901 inside of the story of a woman trying to explore her auteur father’s disappearance through file, wrapped inside of a translator’s attempts to write a mystery novel about a famous woman director who visits Manila, Philippines. Confused? I suspect we’re supposed to be. But all this confusion left me with interesting thoughts about how l...
  • Anna
    God, I love Gina Apostol. The book is nervy, erudite, and ambitious in its exploration of American imperialism in the Philippines, the massacre in Samar, and the current political climate in the country. I'm not entirely sure the tough balancing act she's doing is always pulled off, and I found the ending a bit dissatisfying. Nevertheless, she's a Pinay-diaspora writer I'm always excited to read.
  • Kathleen Gray
    I really wanted to like this but I found it impenetrable at times. Apostol has used the stories of two modern women to tell the story of atrocities at Balangiga in 1901. There's a lot going on between Chiara the filmmaker, Magsalin who translates and rewrites her script, and the history of the Philippines. The language is dense at times and flowing at others, which made this a challenge. Ultimately and unfortunately, I DNF. Thanks to Edelweiss fo...
  • Barbara Rocas
    I really tried to enjoy this book (as it touches upon Filipino identity and history), something I can relate to as an American-Filipino. Unfortunately I just couldn't enjoy the writer's style - the unnecessarily flowery language and the constant choppiness of the perspective made it difficult to follow. I tried to understand and appreciate the characters, but their unending negativity (from both voices) made for an irritating narrative. I underst...
  • Kristine Mar
    🇺🇸🇵🇭📽🎬📝🕶💣really wanted to like it but had a hard time navigating the prose
  • Dee
    ~ I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~Being a history major, the idea of a book delving into the Philippine-American War intrigued me. However, 30% into the book and I still found myself asking, “what’s the point?”. Ms. Apostol’s story introduces us to the sweltering heat and busy streets of the Philippines as characters Chiara Brasi and Magasalin work together on Chiara’s new film. Chiar...