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Longlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2020
A burgeoning of jingles and brief histories of lunacy, funny and horrifying, this book is both joyously free-wheeling and tonic to the ear and eye...an irresistible ride. – Republic of Consciousness prize judges
Witch, whore, witch, whore, witch whore, witch whore,
witch whore, witch whore/ Wicky’s witch in graveyards / climbing coconut trees, in only three seconds / when she’s caught looking for
the bones of unblessed souls or chickens for her store.
An alias is an assumed identity.
In Aliasing the narration of fiction shifts like the weave of a binakul blanket, and the reader is confronted by a procession of simulacra that might be misunderstood as an alternative history of the Philippines. There are no falsehoods here since representation precedes and determines the real. The northern whirlpool weave that provides the novel with its title has been used to confuse evil spirits and protect its wearer while asleep. Almost traditional stories are woven into a post-history covering everyone from Macabebe Marie (the Mata Hari of Manila) to the Catholic mystic Emma de Guzman (known to followers as the Mother of Love, Peace and Joy). Reflecting the hybrid nature of our contemporary world, Aliasing reconfigures our understanding of who we are as a twice-told tall tale from the South.
In 1950, Fritz Lang came to the capital en route to Turagsoy to shoot a war film that he later considered to be the worst movie he ever made. He came to the radio station KZRM because he was listening to the radio while on set and he was amazed at the sound bites they got, from everyone from Chiang Kai Shek to Joseph Stalin. He went to KZRM and found out that a man named Koko Trinidad had been impersonating them: The easiest way to control the population is to carry out acts of terror!
Published by Book Works as part of Semina, guest edited by Stewart Home and designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio.
The Semina series also published books by Iphgenia Baal, Stewart Home, Maxi Kim, Jarett Kobek, Jana Leo, Katrina Palmer, Bridget Penney, and Mark Waugh.
Mara Coson is a writer and editor from Manila, Philippines. She completed her MA in Creative Media at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). In 2012, she co-founded The Manila Review, a journal that publishes book and film reviews, as well as essays on old literary publications, radio, and smugglers.