Friday, March 11, 2011

a book for a long weekend

i am so excited for a long weekend to come because i just got myself a new book that i would like to read uninterrupted. well, as uninterrupted as a mother with three young kids and one angst-filled teenager can realistically expect.

ateneo hosted the launch of tony enriquez's newest novel, the activist.

the book is a historical novel set in the 70s about a young zamboangueno "who dares to challenge the despot Ferdinand Marcos".

the back reads:
Antonio Enriquez transports us to the Philippine capital city of Zamboanga in the grip of a military dictatorship and assassination, where Lorenz Diaz, Jr., a rising socialist, dares to challenge the despot Ferdinand Marcos. In search for truth and freedom, he was imprisoned several timesin notorious military stockades - unsure if the sun would shine in his face or on his abandoned corpse in the "killing fields" the next day. As we follow Lorenz's struggle against the dictator Marcos, we too discover a nation in terror. as a historical novel, its peculiar gift is that it doesn't read like one but as a suspenseful mystery novel, keeping us well-entertained, our eyeballs glued to its pages, but unlike a detective novel, unscrambling the oppression and horror of Martial Law.

he signed my copy. he wrote,
"to yen, it's so nice to see you again. salud, Tony."

antonio enriquez is from zamboanga. from the family that owned the mansions along buenavista road: the white house, the pink house. i have heard of him when i was still in college, my classmate amis buenafe, his niece, lived in the white house. amis told me then that she had an uncle who has won awards for writing books. but at that time in our lives, amis and i and our other friends had other things on our mind than uncles who wrote books, even award-winning ones.

in 2008 when tony enriquez was a writer in residence here at ateneo, i asked him to give a mini lecture on book the philippine book publishing industry to my introduction to mass communication class.

at the book launch yesterday, he said it took him four years to finish the activist. he said most of his books take that long to finish. he also said that he thinks this is the only novel about the marcos years, that there are many books about that period, but none of them were novels.

i got the book for 250 yesterday but i understand that after the launch, it'll go for 300.

i look forward to reading the book for many reasons (including my interest in anything martial law related largely because i am a martial law baby) but the most urgent one is to know why he gave the protagonist such an incongruous name.