Lualhati Bautista’s ‘Dekada ‘70’ novel to become a Penguin Classics edition?

Published January 29, 2022, 5:07 PM

by John Legaspi

The famed Filipino author shares news about the offer on social media

Apart from the classics such as the epic “Ibong Adarna” and Dr. Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tángere” and “El Filibusterismo” novels, local modern and contemporary books also became part of Filipino students’ life, and among those Lualhati Bautista’s “Dekada ‘70.” This time, the novel set in the tumultuous decade of the 1970s will be available more to a global audience as Penguin Classic has reached out to the Carlos Palanca award winner.

In a recent Facebook post, Bautista shared an email sent by Elda Rotor, Penguin Classics’ vice-president and publisher, asking her if she “would be interested in discussing the possible publication of ‘Dekada ‘70’ as a Penguin Classics edition.”

“I had learned about your modern classic ‘Dekada ‘70’ from my International Sales colleagues and was intrigued by the work and its impact and study in Philippine classrooms,” Rotor wrote. “I read your English translation of ‘Dekada ‘70’ and found the Bartolome family’s story in the era of Martial Law, especially from the mother Amanda’s perspective, very moving, timely, and propulsive and see the potential for your classic for a wider English-language audience, especially students, outside the Philippines.”

Nothing is confirmed yet about the publication of the novel under Penguin Classics as discussions are still ongoing.

Apart from “Dekada ‘70,” her other literary works such as “‘GAPÔ” and “Bulaklak sa City Jail” are also being read and studied by Filipino students.

In 2002, “Dekada ‘70” has been adapted into a movie directed by Chito S. Roño and featured Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon as couple Amanda and Julián, with Piolo Pascual, Carlos Agassi, Marvin Agustin, Danilo Barrios, and John Wayne Sace as their sons, completing the Bartolome household.

Hello, readers! Do you have a story you want us to feature? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter and let’s talk about it.