“The Goddess,” by Ninotchka Rosca

So fierce, this story by Rosca is.  Self found it in The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century, edited by Isagani Cruz:

For the flesh, there could be no celebration.  One lived for death and died for immortality.

Shortly after this difficult afternoon among the azaleas, her mother was taken ill.  She became as faded as the mynah bird kept in a rusty cage.  Her death was of no surprise to anyone.  Martha herself looked without emotion at the corpse stretched out like a larded fish on the matrimonial bed surrounded by icons, rosaries, medicine bottles, and the vapors of corruption and incense.  After the funeral Martha’s father eloped with a married woman; he sent his daughter quaint postcards with European stamps.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. August 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm


    Larded fish – European stamps.

    I agree with you, unforgettable writing.


  2. Ninotchka Rosca said,

    August 30, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Thanks much.

  3. August 30, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Ninotchka, it was an absolutely brilliant and powerful short story. It was full of twisted love. I only wish it didn’t take me 10 years to read through The Best Philippine Short stories of the Twentieth Century!

  4. October 24, 2017 at 2:10 am

    An excellent find!

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