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Polotan, Kerima. STORIES BY KERIMA POLOTAN. Manila, Philippines: Bookmark Inc. , 1968. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 195 pages. Fine/Fine.

Retrospective collection of short stories. One of the finest short story collections of the 20th century. The First Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now very rare. There is no ISBN. Presents eleven award-winning stories by Kerima Polotan, written over a twenty-year period (between 1948 and 1968) of apprenticeship, maturity, and mastery. As selected and arranged by the author herself, the stories, while self-contained, trace and illuminate the arc of her development as a writer, from the lyrical evocation of adolescent female confusions in "This Door" and "The Trap" to the unsparingly un-sentimental dramatization of her place and destiny in "The Virgin" and "Cost Price" and finally to the intricate, luminous, and complex narratives of "The Sounds of Sunday" and "A Various Season". Polotan was encouraged by some of the most ambitious, pioneering Philippine writers in English, all of whom she thanks in her Preface, all of whom she surpassed. The comment by the influential American critic Edward M. Potoker that Polotan's theme is "pastoral virtue versus urban corruption" is simplistic and wrong. As she herself writes in the Preface, Polotan is uncompromising about life, rural or urban: "I have often been accused of patterning my fiction after true-to-life incidents, which is not quite the truth. Life, I am happy to say, has spared me nothing, and I have, in turn, given it no quarter. I have written for the simplest reason: It is what I can do, it is my life" (Kerima Polotan). Whereas almost everyone else writes in the "Creole" style (the flowery Philippine language infused with Spanish Baroque), her lean and elegant prose makes Polotan the greatest stylist in English the Philippines has ever produced. "Her searingly honest voice is without parallel. Like a diamond: Sharp, brilliant, cutting through the dross of hypocrisy. Tough exterior, generous heart" (Rowena Torrevillas). Polotan's tough-minded yet generous writing exposes the mediocrity of contemporary writing for what it is: Sterile prose, undergraduate philosophizing, Marvel Comics fantasy-narratives. Kerima Polotan died on August 19, 2011. She will not be replaced. An absolute "must-have" title for Kerima Polotan collectors. This title is a modern classic. As far as we know, this is the only copy of the First Edition available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare copy thus. The greatest Philippine writer of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER KERIMA POLOTAN TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). $400.00

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