New York-based Gina Apostol wins Rome Literature prize for book on Filipino women radicals

Gina Apostol Rome Literature prize
Filipina writer Gina Apostol won the 2022 Rome Prize in Literature to write her next novel, The Treatment of Paz. Photo credit to Margarita Corporan via Gina Apostol website.

New York-based Filipina writer Gina Apostol has been awarded the 2022 Rome Prize in Literature in support of her work on her next novel, The Treatment of Paz.

Apostol is among the winners of the annual prize from the American Academy in Rome, which includes a stipend and a stay at the Academy’s campus on the Gianicolo in Rome.

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The award-winning Filipino novelist will use the prestigious prize to spend time on her current novel, which is focused on the “perils of womanhood among Filipino radicals in 1880s Europe.”

In an interview with CNN Philippines’ Rico Hizon on May 5, 2022, Apostol shared that her work-in-progress, The Treatment of Paz, is about the 1880s and 1890s and will look at the “Filipino revolution from the point of view of women.”

The story is about Paz Pardo de Tavera, the wife of Filipino painter and patriot, Juan Luna, who murdered her in Paris in 1892.

Apostol currently lives in New York City and western Massachusetts and grew up in Tacloban, Leyte, in the Philippines. She teaches at the Fieldston School in New York City.

Her other new book, La Tercera, which is also centered on women and revolution, will be released in January 2023.

Rome Prize winners are selected annually by independent juries of distinguished artists and scholars through a national competition. The annual competition received 909 applications, representing 47 U.S. states and territories and 19 different countries.

This year’s winners are among the most diverse in the Academy’s history, with approximately 46 percent of them identifying as persons of color and 24 percent born outside of the United States.

Each winner will receive a stipend, workspace, and room and board at the Academy’s eleven-acre campus on the Janiculum Hill in Rome, starting in September 2022.

“This year’s Rome Prize winners and Italian Fellows represents the diversity of the United States, and their projects build on the Academy’s commitment to the global impact of the arts and humanities,” said Mark Robbins, AAR President and CEO in a press release on April 25, 2022. “These fellowships are transformative, and we look forward to seeing the ways this experience is translated in the work to come.”

The American Academy in Rome is America’s oldest overseas center for independent studies in advanced research in the arts and humanities.

Previous winners of the Rome Prize include Ralph Ellison, Anthony Doerr, Alexandra Kleeman, Robert Penn Warren, and Filipino-American writers Lysley Tenorio and Jessica Hagedorn.

Gina Apostol is the author of “Insurrecto“, the award-winning novel which debuted in London in 2019. The book is about the clash and collaboration of a translator and a filmmaker as they draw up a film script that delves deep into the harrowing events of the Philippine-American War, in particular the 1901 Balangiga Massacre in Eastern Samar.

Apostol earlier helped other Southeast Asian writers based in London.

Last year, Filipina writer Carla Montemayor won a London Writers Award (LWA) given by Spread the Word, a writer development agency championing the underrepresented and marginalized voices in the United Kingdom publishing industry.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to New York-based Filipina writer Gina Apostol for winning the 2022 Rome Prize in Literature to work on her next novel, The Treatment of Paz.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.