Ninotchka Rosca’s ‘Stories of a Bitter Country’ is shortlisted for 39th National Book Awards

June 22, 2022 - 3:19 PM
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Ninotschka Rosca's "Stories of a Bitter Country" is short-listed as a finalist for the 39th National Book Awards (Facebook/National Book Development Board)

A book about the lives of people in a corrupt-riddled country is among the finalists of the 39th National Book Awards.

The National Book Development Board (NBDB) featured the book titled “Stories of a Bitter Country” by Ninotchka Rosca on Facebook on June 22.

“These stories are not for the fainthearted,” the post reads.

“Replete with heartrending accounts and soul-searing experiences, Ninotchka Rosca maps out a country that’s saddled with corruption, tragedy, and grief. Yet, beneath the ashes and dust lie embers of love and hope,” it added.

Ninotchka Rosca’s “Stories of a Bitter Country” is short-listed as a finalist for the 39th National Book Awards (Facebook/National Book Development Board)

NBDB further promoted the book as a collection of “journeys” of different individuals who are facing “the most peculiar and occasionally grim circumstances” in the country.

“Stories of a Bitter Country offers an unapologetic scrutiny of the lives of ordinary people—their attempts to find peace amid chaos, and justice amid suffering—and in so doing, unveils the best and the worst that can come from all of us,” the board said.

“Stories of a Bitter Country” is published by Anvil Publishing.

It is currently available on Anvil’s website for P495.

Rosca shared the recognition on her Facebook page. She thanked the book’s publisher Andrea Pasion-Flores for her work.

“Congrats to Andrea Pasion-Flores whose project this was,” Rosca said.

Pasion-Flores returned the same congratulatory message to Rosca.

“Talaga naman! Congrats, Ninotchka Rosca! This is all you!” the former said via the comments section.

A Martial Law survivor, Rosca has been an advocate for women’s rights and human rights throughout her career.

She has also reaped numerous awards for both journalism and literary works. One of them is the prestigious American Book Award for her novel “State of War.”

The latter and another novel “Twice Blessed” (1992) were touted as must-read literary classics in Philippine literature.

Other finalists 

Rosca’s book is listed as a finalist for the Short Stories (English) category.

The rest of the finalists are as follows:

  • “Voyager and Other Fictions: The Collected Stories of Jose Dalisay” by Jose Dalisay Jr.
  • “Demigods and Monsters: Stories” by Caroline S. Hau
  • “Collected Stories and Tales” by Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo
  • “City Stories” by Angelo R. Lacuesta
  • “Pics or It Didn’t Happen and Actual Stories” by Anna Felicia C. Sanchez
  • “A Natural History of Empire” by Dominic Sy

The National Book Awards is an annual literary event that recognizes the best written and published books in the Philippines.

This year’s awards show covered books released in 2019 and 2020.