Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me

Lorina Mapa

Book cover

This book just caught my eye in the graphic novels section of my local library. I’m surprised neither my partner nor I had ever heard of it. But, I’m very glad I found it! Rina Mapa does an excellent job blending personal and national history. Although I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about Filipino history (for a non-Filipino), I learned quite a bit about the 1986 “People Power” revolution from this book–especially regarding the specific course of events, the series of defections that eroded Marcos’s power, etc. Mapa does a deft job of digressing on broader topics (religion, music, politics) from hooks in her own story, in a way that feels natural. The art mostly gets out of the way here–it is fairly simple and personal, without seeming stylized or cartoonish. Also, Mapa is very funny! I read several bits out loud to my partner, even though I want her to read it too. Finally, I found the ending of the book fairly moving–I was glad Mapa didn’t simply end it with returning to Canada after her father’s funeral.

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars