Thursday, July 12, 2018

Reader's Diary #1866- Lorina Mapa: Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me

Lorina Mapa, a long time Canadian citizen who immigrated here from the Philippines years ago, has just been called back for the unexpected death of her father.

As we all know, and as such is the often the case during these emotional shocks, it leads to a flood of memories, depression, and introspection.

Recounting her life in the Philippines, Mapa begins by sharing a succinct history of president Ferdinand Marco's corruption and ultimate downfall in the 70s and early 80s. (For what it's worth, Imelda's depiction doesn't seem like a far stretch to find similarities between her and Ivanka or Melania.) She also presents a fascinating look at class, gender, and religion in the Philippines.

Largely though, this is socio-political background and it never fails to amaze me when writers from countries which have gone through such upheaval nevertheless capture the contrasting mundanities of everyday life, the stuff that's familiar to even a white guy from outport Newfoundland. In this case, it's largely her preoccupation with 80s pop music. (Eventually this will help pull her through her troubled emotional state.)

Mapa's art is pretty simple and I wasn't surprised to see a reference to Tintin in the background of one panel, but this makes, I think, a reader such as myself better able to empathize. Mostly in black in white, the use of yellow for one particular sequence is purposeful and more engaging.

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

I really loved this memoir. Throughout the bulk of it, I was just enjoying the contrast between, as you've said, the dramatic political stuff and the everyday memories (and I love that there was a playlist in the back!)...but then, at the end, I found it really moving. I think I'd been nestling closer to her story throughout, without even noticing.