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Boyet Hernandez is a small man with a big American dream when he arrives in New York in 2002, fresh out of fashion school in the Philippines. But on the brink of fame and fortune, there comes instead a knock on the door in the middle of the night: the flamboyant ex-Catholic is swept to America’s most notorious prison, administered a Qur’an and locked away indefinitely to discover his link to a terrorist plot.
Now, in his six-by-eight-foot cell, Boy prepares for the tribunal of his life with this intimate confession. From borrowed mattress to converted toothpick factory loft, from custom suit commissions to high-end retail, we are immersed in a wonderland of soirees, runways, and hipster romance in twenty-first-century Gotham. Boy is equally at home (if sometimes comically misinformed) invoking Dostoevsky and Diane von Furstenberg, the Marcos tyranny and Marc Jacobs, the vicissitudes of memory and the indignity of the walking sandwich board. But behind the scrim of his wit and chutzpah is his present nightmare of detainment in the sun-baked place he calls No Man’s Land. The more Boy’s faith in American justice is usurped by the Kafkaesque demands of his interrogator, the more ardently he clings to the chimerical hope and humanity of his adoptive country.
Alex Gilvarry is a native of Staten Island, New York. He is the founding editor of the website,Tottenville Review; he has been named a Norman Mailer Fellow, and his writing has appeared in The Paris Review. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Cambridge Massachusetts.
His debut novel From the Memoirs of a Non-enemy Combatant received positive reviews from The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Glamour Magazine among others. It tells the story of Boyet, a fashion graduate in the Philippines. He is full of dreams when he arrives in New York in 2002 but on the brink of fame and fortune, the flamboyant ex-Catholic is swept to America’s most notorious prison and locked away indefinitely to discover his link to a terrorist plot.
From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant is available for P995 in National Book Store, Powerbooks and Bestsellers branches. Shop online at www.nationalbookstore.com. Follow National Book Store on Facebook and Twitter for exclusive offers and contests.