Although materialist analyses have critiqued the institutionalization of postcolonial studies and its emergence in global capitalism, only few have addressed the role of creative writing in standardizing migrant novelistic production to what Mark McGurl has designated as ‘program fiction’ whose trademark is the practice of “involuted self-reference”. In filling this gap, this paper looks into Gina Apostol’s writings and their reception by international audiences as exemplary of the cultural capital of program fiction. While Apostol’s autofictions/ficto-criticism points to the influence of creative writing in her novels — she studied under John Barth in the MFA program in Johns Hopkins University, this context is overlooked when metropolitan readers construe her work as postcolonial literature. I argue that Apostol’s textualist renderings of Philippine history is an act of ventriloquism whose metropolitan success is a symptom of the auratic authority of postcolonial studies in the First world literary marketplace.
Martin, M.G.P. (2022). Autopoetics, Market Competence, and the Transnational Author. Rupkatha Journal, 14(1), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.21659/rupkatha.v14n1.11