I finally got around to buying a semi-complete set of Jessica Zafra’s books. I was first introduced to Zafra (her works, at least) in 2007 by an ex-boyfriend, and I was immediately hooked by her first Twisted. It was witty, sarcastic, and irreverent. It seemed to have its own writing style, by just saying what it wants, regardless of its point. Perhaps it’s the frequency of its first publication in Today, or maybe Zafra just doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.
During the recent Manila International Book Fair, I was fortunate enough to have bought Twisted 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and Twisted Travels, along with Alex Gilvarry’s debut novel From The Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant (which I got signed). For all seven books, I only spent a few hundreds above P,1000.
As for Twisted II: Spawn of Twisted, I was reminded again of why I fell in love with Zafra. She is still snarky and insightful, and her sense of humor is just as refreshing. What I did find hard to believe are her essays on love. I have no memory of her talking about her love life in the first and third books, so I was pretty surprised. The future dominatrix still has time to fall in love.
My favorite essay of the bunch is The Vulcan Mind and Cheese Meld, where she discusses a phone call from someone attempting suicide. Given Zafra’s cynical approach, I expected her to antagonize the caller. Instead, she referenced Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus, and said that “in the face of incredible, insane odds,” Sisyphus kept going. She closed the essay with “This sick world is trying to break you. By sticking around, you annoy the hell out of it,” which is typical for Zafra, thus making the article sincere.
Her other essays are just as enjoyable, and surprisingly timely. There were pieces on censorship, the futility of elections, and more importantly, notes on Tito Sotto. You might want to read it now.