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F H Batacan

(1 review)

FH Batacan is a Filipino journalist and a writer of crime fiction. She worked in the Philippine intelligence community for nearly a decade and later switched careers to journalism.

She was a fellow at the 1996 National Writers’ Workshop in Dumaguete. She has won two Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature – including the 1999 Grand Prize for the English Novel for her first novel, Smaller and Smaller Circles, published in its original novella form by the University of the Philippines Press in 2002.

The novella would go on to win the Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Award in 2002, as well as the Madrigal-Gonzales Best First Book Award in 2003.

In 2008, her speculative fiction story Keeping Time won first prize in the English category of the 2008 Free Press Literary Awards. And in 2013, her crime fiction story Comforter of the Afflicted was published in Manila Noir – part of the Noir series of books by Brooklyn-based Akashic Books.
She was signed on by literary agents Books@Jacaranda LLP in 2011. They facilitated the sale of Smaller and Smaller Circles to New York City-based international crime fiction publisher Soho Press, which published it in 2015 as an expanded novel.

Two years later, the Philippines’ TBA Studios acquired the film rights and adapted the novel into a feature film directed by Raya Martin.

Batacan’s second book, Accidents Happen – a collection of previously published but revised short stories — has also been acquired by Soho Press. It is due for release in late 2024.
She has represented the Philippines in the Singapore Writers’ Festival and was featured on panels with crime fiction writers John Burdett, Stephen Leather and Kathryn Fox. She guest-edited a special crime, suspense and mystery issue of Philippine Genre Stories, released in December 2008. She was asked to judge the fiction category for the 2023 NUS Literary Awards.

In April 2024, she received UMPIL’s (Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas) Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas Lifetime Achievement Award for fiction in English, “for bravely creating complex characters with rich inner lives and difficult choices… for her realistic and clear-eyed portrayal of Philippine society, dwelling on themes of corruption and injustice that corrode the social order.”

Batacan has been based in Singapore since 2000. She is currently at work on a second novel.

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