Boy in the Platinum Palace and Other Stories
Only a few of the young writers today know how to write a story. Many of them have gone to so-called writing workshops where they were homogenized and convinced that to make the grade they must be capable of flashy, wordy showing off. This will make their arrival noisy and glamorous. They forget that writing is storytelling—a craft which they have ignored in their avid search for style and originality.
Dada Felix is aware of the basics—aside from being a consummate craftsman, she has both style and originality and above all these, she knows how to write a story. She is, in fact, one of our very best writers in English today. This newest collection of her short fiction illustrates her excellence first and foremost as a storyteller. Her narrative skill is superb as bourne out by these stories, none of which is boring. This is the ultimate test of good writing—the reading. Does it bore or does it not? Most of these stories are narrated in the first person point of view. Whether the storyteller is a man, a woman, or even a child, he-she maneuvers in a very limited space which tests the imaginative skill.
Dada’s language is often spare but where necessary, it is adorned not so much with adverbs and adjectives but by the skillful use of choice verbs. And there are those tiny details which contribute to the plausibility of the stories, whether they pertain to economics, crime detection, or even history. All minutiae are refreshingly in place. Her futuristic account of the Revolution of 1896 for instance is an enjoyable read, historically accurate, but at the same time, delightfully imagined.
Dada is a trained economist and exalted public servant. It is not in the bureaucracy, however, where she will leave an indelible mark. It is in literature. Just wait for her first novel which is coming out shortly. It is seriously funny, compellingly readable, and transcedentally meaningful.—F. Sionil JoseNational Artist for Literature
About the Author
Maria L. M. Fres-Felix holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics (cum laude) from the University of the East, Manila, and a master’s degree in Development Economics from Williams College, Massachusetts. Her short story collection, Making Straight Circles was published by UP Press. Her fiction has also appeared in various publications here and abroad, and has been anthologized in Fourteen Love Stories, A Different Voice (PEN Anthology), Cogito Ergo Sum, Latitude: Writing from the Philippines and Scotland, Danish PEN/Nyt, and the UP Likhaan series.
Her children’s story, “Katzi’s New School” was included in Anchors Aweigh, a literature book for the elementary grades. She has won several Palanca Awards and Philippines Free Press Literary Awards. Her book, “Sup?,” published by Adarna Publishing House, won the Grand Prize for the Pilar Perez Medallion for Young Adult Literature.