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Fish-Hair Woman by Merlinda Bobis
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Fish-Hair Woman (edition 2012)

by Merlinda Bobis

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831,035,133 (3.67)1
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Title:Fish-Hair Woman
Authors:Merlinda Bobis
Info:Spinifex Press (2012), Paperback, 303 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:filipiniana, war

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Fish-Hair Woman by Merlinda Bobis

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An exquisite novel set in the Philippines, by a Filipina author, and one of the best books I have read all year.

Estrella is the fish-hair woman, the one with twelve-meter hair who trawls for bodies in the river when pro-government forces and guerillas sweep through the village. She is the one who remembers and suffers. Her story and those around her are central to this unique book, but the stories that are woven here are about much more. About life and death, of course. And politics and war in the Philippines. About parents and children and siblings. About the past and whether or not we can ever escape it. About history and memory. About a fascinating group of characters. And about finding joy in the face of pain.

Merlinda Bobis is a poet as well as a novelist. She works magic with words, playing with them, repeating them and exploring their meanings. Her novel is multilayered and nonchronological. Events from over a thirty-year period are related. Multiple narrators tell stories that often conflict. Mystery abounds leaving readers and characters unsure of what “really” happened.

Read more on my blog, Me, you and books: http://wp.me/p24OK2-RF
  mdbrady | Aug 12, 2013 |
Set in the Philippines during a period of civil unrest, this book is part war story, murder mystery, political thriller, romance, and historical epic. For my full review, please see Whispering Gums: http://whisperinggums.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/merlinda-bobis-fish-hair-woman-re... ( )
  minerva2607 | Apr 13, 2012 |
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It's 1987. The Philippine government fights a total war against insurgency. The village of Iraya is militarised. The days are violent and the nights heavy with fireflies in the river where the dead are dumped. With her twelve-metre hair, Estrella, the Fish-hair Woman, trawls corpses from the water that tastes of lemongrass. She falls in love with the Australian Tony McIntyre who disappears in the conflict. Ten years later, his son travels to Manila to find his father. From the Philippines to Australia, Hawai'i, to evocations of colonial Spain, this transnational novel spins a dark, epic tale. Its storytelling is expansive, like the heart - How much can the heart accommodate?...Only four chambers but with infinite space like memory, where there is room even for those whom we do not love.… (more)

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