Gina Apostol and Sabina Murray, two storytellers, whose works are steeped in history and its fractured retellings, will discuss latest projects, rewriting the past, and stumbling upon new worlds and the same old imperial ones. Join us for a dual reading, where Apostol and Murray will pick each other’s brain in a special one-on-one.
Gina Apostol’s latest novel Gun Dealers’ Daughter is a recuperation of a nation’s troubled past and its flirtation with revolution. Punctuated by medication and trappings of wealth–a mansion overlooking the Hudson River, faceless domestic workers, solariums, and lavish sedans—protagonist Soledad Soliman begins the tale of reconciliation. Lapsing into a fractured memory of Marcos-era Manila, gun-toting, banner-waving student revolutionaries, opulent politicians, and red fervor are plenty. “Gina Apostol probes the hard truths of love, nationhood, and exile with crisp intelligence and subtle humor. Apostol is a fearless, stylish writer of substance and her American debut is long overdue,” lauds Jessica Hagedorn, author of Toxicology and 2011 AAWW Lifetime Achiever.
Humorously retelling the famed expeditions of explorers and conquistadors, Sabina Murray’s Tales of the New World mingles history and legend, truth and conjecture, native and alien. Murray injects unsuspecting characters into familiar narratives—the vicious dog of Balboa or the rich scholar who carries a torch for Magellan. According to the New York Times, “Murray writes of Italian noblemen, African chiefs, Russian prisoners, Australian Aborigines, even Aztec kings; of times and places, horrors and joys; of oceans, deserts, starvation—of quite simply everything— very beautifully, bringing it all close to us, to here, to now.”
Read an excerpt from Gina Aspostol’s The Gun Dealer’s Daughter Here
Gina Apostol won the Philippine National Book Award for her first two novels, Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata. Her stories have appeared in the Massachusetts Review, the Gettysburg Review, Thirdest World, Charlie Chan is Dead, Vol. 2 (An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction), and other anthologies and journals. She lives in western Massachusetts.
Sabina Murray grew up in Australia and the Philippines and is currently a member of the MFA faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of Slow Burn, A Carnivore’s Inquiry, Forgery, and The Caprices, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.