Nearly 20 years ago, when mobile phones were the size of shoeboxes and music was sold in audio cassettes, a column called Twisted debuted on the back page of an eccentric little broadsheet called Today.
It introduced a new voice in Philippine letters: direct, funny, ironic, not even pretending to be nice, and unconcerned with being liked. Oddly enough, it found readers—people with very definite opinions on popular culture (movies, books, music), current affairs, contemporary life, general weirdness, and world domination.
The first compilation of Twisted by Jessica Zafra was published in 1995, with a new one appearing every year or so. Eleven essay collections were published, along with special compilations of film reviews and travel essays. These books have garnered awards, brought geek culture to the general public, and introduced a new generation of Filipinos to the pleasures of reading.
This year, the original Twisted books are going out of print to make way for new digital editions. This means the remaining stocks of Twisted are about to become collector’s editions. Before they vanish altogether, the author of the series invites fans of the column and of Filipino works in general to grab the final copies of the books.
Meanwhile, in June, Zafra is launching two new books in hardcover: Geeks Vs Jocks, and The Stories So Far. The first is a collection of her essays on tennis, rugby, politics and other contact sports while The Stories So Far is her first book of short stories since Manananggal Terrorizes Manila, the prize-winning fiction anthology that launched her publishing career in the 1990s.
Twisted books signed by Jessica Zafra are available at the Library of Babel online store, www.library-of-babel.com. For inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.