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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

entry arrow11:25 AM | A Quick Overview of Pinoy ChickLit

Say what you will about ChickLit, I do read my fair share of it (...although not lately, I wonder why). There was a huge controversy a while back when Tara FT Sering won a National Book Award for the Y/A novel, which some other literary friends considered as too Cosmopolitan to be in the category. (And then there was that incident in a literary conference where Vince Groyon dismissed the whole genre as not being literature at all.) While I do agree with Carla Pacis's contention, I cannot readily endorse the non-literariness of the whole enterprise (here's Bevz Asenjo writing about the ChickLit allure in her Friendster blog), because there are a few books that are certainly well-written. Most of all, they do not apologize for being entertaining.

That's why I miss Summit Books. When the books with their trademark pastel illustrations first came out in every newsstand all over the country, they created a minor revolution, because suddenly they subverted what everybody was saying about book publishing in the Philippines: they made money. Who said Philippine literature has to be all about nationalist fervor and what-not?

These are the books that caught everybody's fancy...

Consider those names, some of them Palanca-winning authors... Andrea Pasion, Tara FT Sering, Tweet Sering, Claire Betita, Melissa Salva, Mabi David, Maya O. Calica, and Abi Aquino. A formidable bunch that churned out one book after another.

But the flow seems to have dwindled to a trickle somewhere. (Tara, where are you?) Today, however, it is PSICOM Publishing -- the current purveyor of popular literature that includes The Philippine Ghost Stories series -- that is taking up the slack, although I have yet to read a single title. Here are some books from Katrina Ramos-Atienza, though:

And here's another from a great friend and writer, the Palanca-winning Anna Sanchez-Ishikawa:

Sure, they're about the icky stuff. I like the icky stuff. So do you, admit it.

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