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Hamilton-Paterson, James. GHOSTS OF MANILA. London, England: Jonathan Cape, 1994. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 279 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's fourth and most controversial novel. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original. The DJ is beautifully conceived and executed, utilizing a distorted photograph of the former First Lady, Imelda Marcos. Set in the Philippines and written in his characteristically rich yet pristine style, James Hamilton-Paterson was a foreign correspondent before he turned to writing full-time, which accounts for the delicate precision, emphasis on factual accuracy, and astonishing vigor of his work. One gets the feeling that writing comes to him easily. He has also lived abroad for much of his writing life, mainly in the Philippines and Tuscany, which has made him like his predecessors, Christopher Isherwood and W. H. Auden, the prototypical alienated Englishman, underrated if not resented in his own country. Hamilton-Paterson seems to have no problem with this at all, as he clearly does with the whole idea of Great Britain and by large extension, America. To him, the world we live in today has been irreparably corrupted and perhaps destroyed by colonialism, specifically the British and American kinds, and his moral obligation as a writer is to record our personal lives as they are affected by the fact of the world's colonial past and its enduring, pernicious reach. There is no such thing as "post-colonialism": Whether one is British, American, Jew, Palestinian, Thai or Filipino, one is a victim of colonialism. Colonialism victimizes both the colonizer and the colonized. In a celebrated profile in Vanity Fair Magazine, which proclaimed him as one of the world's great undiscovered writers, James Hamilton-Paterson said that he was happy to have 500 readers in the world. That, of course, is literally impossible, because even a small print run would have to be a few thousand copies, but the point he was trying to make was not lost on both his ardent admirers and powerful enemies. A "must-have" title for James Hamilton-Paterson collectors. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for a very long time and is now collectible. This is one of few copies of the First British Edition still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A scarce copy thus. One of the finest British writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. . ISBN 0224037609. $40.00

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