Photo by Philip Jamilla


Ateneo de Manila University Press
264 pages, paperback

Shortlisted for the 2020 Novel Prize

Cover art by Jo Tanierla

Yñiga Calinauan’s quiet life is upended when a retired army general wanted for the murder of peasants and activists in the countryside is captured across the street from her house. Days later the neighborhood is burned to the ground in what some say is retaliation. With nowhere to go, she returns to M—, the small fishing town where she grew up and now hopes to regain the quiet life she has lost. But soon she discovers that the terror she thought she had escaped in the city is right on her trail, and she must face the “forest of history” that has long haunted her family.

“Diaz, like all great novelists of history, knows that to disappear—and to be disappeared—is a political question as much as an existential one. This moving, remarkable novel—as dense, meditative and engrossing as the forests its characters are haunted by, and as dryly funny as the jokes we tell ourselves to survive—is as much a visceral, unforgettable journey into one woman’s fraught familial legacy of disappearance and resistance, as well as a deeply poignant meditation on nation-building itself—and its own fraught familial legacy of disappearance, and resistance.”

Elaine Castillo, author of America Is Not the Heart and How to Read Now


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