Filipino journalist’s seething memoir of Duterte’s drug war among TIME Magazine’s 2023 100 must-reads
TIME Magazine just published its 100 must-read books of 2023 list, which includes Filipino trauma journalist Patricia Evangelista’s memoir, partly a retelling of the human cost of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody drug war, “Some People Need Killing.”
The magazine lauded Evangelista’s newly published book as “one of the most harrowing and brave books published this year.” TIME’s editorial director Lucas Wittman says of the former Rappler reporter: “She’s unflinching in bearing witness to the thousands of dead killed under Duterte’s reign of terror.”
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In the book, Evangelista traces the populist rise of Duterte, his egregious track record as Davao City’s mayor for over two decades, and how he fulfilled his promise of killing drug personalities at the cost of Filipino lives during his term as president.
She zeroes in on the president’s violent rhetoric and the government’s complacency in trying to justify these killings with words like “nanlaban” or “fought back, forcing police officers to shoot them.”
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Since its release in October 2023, the book subtitled “A Memoir of Murder in My Country,” has received praise by foreign and local press alike including The New Yorker editor David Remnick, who compared Evangelista’s work with that of George Orwell.
Evangelista joins other notable novelists, poets, and writers in TIME’s 100 must-read books of 2023 such as the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature awardee French author Annie Ernaux.
Among those featured in the list are Emma Cline for America’s newly beloved summer read “The Guest,” R.F. Kuang for her satirical literary masterpiece “Yellowface,” activist Naomi Klein with her incisive look at the modern afflictions of life in her latest book “Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World,” and EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscars, and Tony) award winner Barbra Streisand with her memoir “My Name is Barbara.”
TIME’s 100 Books is an annual list that features fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.