The book entitled “A thousand little deaths : growing up under martial law in the Philippines” by Vicky Pinpin-Feinstein was recently donated to the University Library. The book was handed over to Prof. Rodolfo Tarlit, our University Librarian, by her sister, Dr. Cynthia Daniel. The book was a memoir of her time as a political prisoner during Martial Law.

Vicky Pinpin-Feinstein is a multi-lingual social scientist and international development and communications practitioner who assists international organizations, non-profit organisations, government entities, and private companies on challenges relating to: Strategic Communications, Media and Communications, Public Policy, Research Analysis, Organizational Change Strategies, Program Management, Assessments, and Evaluations of Socio-Economic Impact of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and has worked for organizations such as the East-West Center, the Smithsonian and public television.  She is now working as Senior Associate at Link Asea and residing at Sydney with her family.

A thousand little deathsFull description from book cover:  On an otherwise normal morning at a private school for girls, a 15-year-old student is picked up by soldiers and sent to a military camp, becoming one of the thousands of political prisoners arrested under Ferdinand Marcos’ repressive regime in the 1970s. A year earlier, Marcos had declared martial law and a military government effectively took over the Philippines. After her release, author Vicky Pinpin-Feinstein was required to report to camp, her probation lasting five years. She was never charged and was never told why she was arrested. The effects of prison and the long-term probation makes Vicky’s story an authentic representation of the pernicious effects of dictatorship and tyranny, effects that pervaded a life for decades to come. This is a historically vital memoir, not only moving in its rendition of what life was like for a young innocent girl, but also for its incisive analysis of the political forces that wrecked democratic ideals in a country where politics and violence have always worked together for the benefit of the few.

“Like all good books, “A Thousand Little Deaths: Growing Up Under Martial Law In The Phillipines” transports you to a different time and place and forces you to ask yourself: what would I have done? How would I have felt? How could I have coped? How would MY life have been changed? When the author is arbitrarily arrested at age fifteen and taken to a military prison camp, the experience sends her psyche into trauma, not just from the harrowing imprisonment but, post-release, from a hurtful identity crisis as family, friends and community seek to assuage their own fear and loathing of what is happening to their country by defining the author’s very personhood by this one appalling episode. How Vicky Pinpin escapes her prisons and triumphs over these “thousand little deaths”, especially against the well-drawn and detailed backdrop of the Marcos regime is what makes this story so compelling. I applaud the author for sharing her heartbreakingly authentic memoir, as we hear virtually nothing now about the atrocities of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos’ conjugal dictatorship, the consummate betrayal of Phillipine democracy, and the lasting effects of real traumas suffered by real people living under a repressive regime.” Review by jonesgrp at

Prof. Rodolfo Tarlit receives the book from Dr. Cynthia Daniel.

Buy the book at Amazon (print and eBook)

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