Postcolonial Gothic Elements in Joaquin’s The Woman Who Had Two Navels


Author: Mohammad Hossein Abedi Valoojerdi, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, Philippines
Published: December 15, 2021

Citation: Abedi Valoojerdi, M. H. (2021). Postcolonial Gothic Elements in Joaquin’s The Woman Who Had Two Navels. IAFOR Journal of Literature & Librarianship, 10(2).


Nick Joaquin (Nicomedes Márquez Joaquín, (1917-2004) is known for his unique style of writing, tropical Gothic, and applying gothic elements in his stories and novels. This paper examines his first novel The Woman Who Had Two Navels through the lens of postcolonial theory. The paper also investigates gothic narratives in his novel by applying David Punter’s literary-historical approach. Punter (2000), in his book Postcolonial Imaginings: Fictions of a New World Order, examines the metamorphoses of the Gothic as a genre in some selected novels and poems. The book depicts new manifestations of the Gothic during 20th century literature. This paper attempts to investigate how the elements of postcolonial Gothic as discussed by Punter are manifested in Joaquin’s novel. In doing so, the contrapuntal method of reading, introduced by Edward Said (1993), is also applied to explore the hidden parts of history in the novel.


colonialism, contrapuntal reading, gothic elements, Joaquin, postcolonial theory