New Novel’s Unique Patterns of Fate in Five Generations Reflect Acceptance, Nietzschean Wisdom

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G. B. Korten’s ‘Amor Fati’ has historical scale, finesse and a uniquely balanced feminine reading of the recently concluded 20th century.

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G. B. Korten’s “Amor Fati,” a historically panoramic novel set in the Philippines, USA and Europe, features a pastiche of narrations of life events dominated by five strong women from five generations superimposed over 20th century world history, notably Philippines under Spanish occupation and Philippines in World War II. Friedrich Nietzsche’s concepts of love of Fate– Amor Fati–and Eternal Recurrence are reconciled in the symmetrically parallel and kaleidoscopic interwoven lives of the characters.

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.”

The tides of history and change omnipresent in Korten’s work as the power of Fate is exposed from snippets of life events that are moving, some tragic and others, life changing, skillfully drawing the reader to vicariously juxtapose their own lives. The stories confront universal issues on family, love, marriage, adulthood, parenting, war and survival; they also reflect Filipino culture and traditions–an exotic ambience.

The character, Soledad Lopez Perez sums up her discovery of her Fate: “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.”

Korten’s characters inevitably work out the earthly run of their Fate weaving in the threads of romance and faith in the family unwittingly fitting into a grand picture, an awesome spectacle, a monumental pattern of eternal recurrence. Working against time, against competition, even against personal furies which are often the vehicles of Fate’s intervention into human lives, the patterns become an orderly rendering perceived from a distance but enticing readers to inspect their own lives.

Within the time frame of world history that spans one hundred years, Korten gives her readers a circumscribed reading "…(that).. sensitively wends through confusing layers of life without getting lost" while perceiving ..."an orderly pattern of interlocking parts". By recognizing, then following one's Fate, readers might find answers to puzzling questions, intricacies and mysteries in their own lives, hopefully rendering, in the end, more tolerant and less defiant citizens of the world. "To accept one's Fate happily", to reach " a state of becoming, negating nothing", as Nietzche 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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