JINI KIM WATSON Stories of the State: Literary Form and Authoritarianism in Ninotchka Rosca’s State of War n 1979, Filipino novelist and publisher F. Sionil José wrote a lee tt r to an American friend, translator and scholar Sam E. Solberg, to ask for help publishing his novel Mass. Completed in 1976, and the fourth novel in the quintet known as the Rosales Saga, Mass is a tale of revolutionary commitment in the early Marcos period. In José’s estimation, given his prior experience as a publisher under Ferdinand Marcos’s regime, this was a manuscript “which is unpublishable here” (“Lee tt r”). As he later put it, “In the first days of Martial Law [of 1972], many writers, particularly jour - nalists, who had displeased Marcos and his wife were imprisoned” (“Marcos Years” 329). Ninotchka Rosca was one of those writers, imprisoned by the regime in 1973 for her antigovernment journal- ism. In 1988, shortly after the overturn of the regime, she published her scathing novel of the Marcos dictatorship, State of War, while in exile in the United States. Her 1983 short story collection, The Mon- soon Collection―which includes character sketches for some of the later novel’s characters―was conceived
Contemporary Literature – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: Apr 10, 2018
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