UP-ICW announces Best First Book nominees for 2009

Arvin Abejo Mangohig, Pantikan.com.ph

The UP Institute of Creative Writing and the Madrigal-Gonzalez family are pleased to announce the nominees for the Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award for 2009. The nominees are: The Proxy Eros by Mookie Katigbak, Stories From Another Time by Benjamin Bautista, Antisipasyon by Victor Dennis T. Nierva , The El Bimbo Variations by Adam David, Girl Trouble by Alan Navarra, Trese: Murder on Balete Drive by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, I Hate My Mother by Perpilili Vivienne Tiongson and Playing It Safe by Gerry T. Los Baños.

The Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award is administered by the UP ICW and is generously sponsored by Atty. Gizela Gonzalez-Montinola and the Madrigal-Gonzalez family. Each year, alternating between Filipino and English, the UP ICW selects from the list of first-time authors and their works and grants the cash prize of P50,000 and a plaque during Writers Night. Former winners include Sarg Lacuesta, Luna Sicat Cleto, Kristian Cordero, and Vincent Groyon. Last year's winner was Pagluwas by Zosimo Quibilan published by the UP Press.

This year's selection mirrors the changing landscape of Philippine literature as it includes the bestselling graphic novel Trese, a collaboration between Tan and Baldisimo—a possibly controversial inclusion among purist circles. Katigbak is acknowledged for her first volume of "lovely and genteel" poetry (according to Conchitina Cruz), published by Anvil. Nierva's book is a strong contender as it has already won a National Book Award for Poetry. David dazzles with his postmodernist experiments. Tiongson's novel about teen emotions is “pitch-perfect,” according to reviewer Tarie Sabido. Gregorio Brillantes hails Bautista as “exceptional and remarkable,” comparing him to stylists Joaquin and Polotan. UP Press Deputy Director Gerry Los Baños rounds out this year's selection with his first novel for young readers, a story of young love.

This year's winner will be awarded on Writers Night at the UP Diliman on December 11.


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