New Historical Novel’s Unique Perspective Blunts History’s Extreme Spikes

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Author G. B. Korten’s "Amor Fati" dramatizes a grand, orderly picture through time and five generations of women, handling grand historical scale with finesse, with a feminine, balanced reading of the recently concluded 20th century.

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Fate takes the wheel: "Hello, I am Fate. Yes, I speak. I am an inevitable force in your lives. I have been accused of apathy, perceived as a specter of malevolence when life takes irrational turns. I assure you, I am on your side and I am not destructive." G. B. Korten’s Amor Fati is a historically panoramic novel set in the Philippines, USA and Europe. Five strong women from five generations are pivotal forces in these stories, stitched together over one hundred years, from 1909 to 2009.

Korten makes the tides of history and change omnipresent in her work. She does so through characters who narrate snippets from their lives: some are moving, some tragic, and others, life-changing. These narrations confront universal issues on family, love, marriage, adulthood, parenting, war and survival reflecting Filipino culture and tradition. From these narrations, one discovers the omniscient work and power of Fate. To the character Soledad Lopez Perez, this is how the discovery of Fate is summed up: "I have been leashed back to where my life started. It makes complete sense - a beginning must reach an end to complete the circle of my life. It is just so."

Even as Korten’s characters work out the earthly run of Fate in their lives, the struggle for these same lives to fit into a general pattern of human destiny becomes a grand picture, an awesome spectacle. Working against time, against competition, even against some personal furies which are often the vehicles for Fate’s intervention into human lives, the kaleidoscope of Amor Fati’s design, in sum, is an orderly rendering seen from a distance. Readers will see how personal fate runs the same paths as human history does.

By working within a timeframe of centuries, Korten gives her readers an assured reading "…[that] sensitively wends through confusing layers of life without getting lost” and creating “patterns…[of] interlocking parts." By recognizing, then following one’s Fate, puzzling questions, intricacies and mysteries in readers’ lives might thus be explained. Such revelations will render a more tolerant and less defiant perspective for true citizens of the world. To accept one’s Fate happily, to reach a state of becoming, negating being, as Nietzsche states, amounts to wisdom.

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About the Author
Geraldine Barangan Korten immigrated to the USA from the Philippines in 1968. She has four published books; "Amor Fati" is her second novel. Her passion for travel has brought her around the world many times over. She paints and cooks with equal fervor. She is a proud and silly grandmother. She lives with her husband in Massachusetts; her two sons, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren reside in New York. She joyously accepts and follows her Fate.

Amor Fati * by G.B. Korten
Publication Date: May 30, 2013
Trade Paperback; $23.99; 483 pages; 978-1-4797-3877-9
Trade Hardback; $34.99; 483 pages; 978-1-4797-3878-6
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4797-3879-3

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