Tuesday, January 11, 2022

In Memoriam F. Sionil Jose Philippine National Artist for Literature


Author Cecilia Manguerra Brainard writes a tribute for Philippine National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose who passed away last January 7, 2022:

The article appeared in Yahoo News and Sunstar Cebu with more pictures:


 "After several years of not seeing Frankie Jose, I met him again in Cebu in 2013 at the opening of the musical production of his short story “Progress.” Hendri Go was the man behind the show about an unappreciated government clerk. Hendri had invited me to the musical.

The program went well, and afterwards, I went up to greet Frankie. I was feeling a bit guilty because I had not seen him nor Tessie for well over a decade, and indeed the first thing he said, was something like, “Where have you been?”

I had launched my first two books at Solidaridad, the iconic bookshop owned by Frankie and his wife Tessie. The first launch in 1988 (for Woman with Horns and Other Stories) had been arranged by Cebuana writer Lina Espina Moore, who had taken me under her wing. In 1991, I also launched the Philippine edition of my first novel, Song of Yvonne (aka When the Rainbow Goddess Wept) at Solidaridad; I recall that was the day Mt. Pinatubo had exploded, so the evening had a strange and memorable quality with fine dust falling outdoors and blanketing streets and cars. Despite the volcanic eruption, the top floor of Solidaridad where the launch was held was packed; events at Solidaridad were always somewhat bohemian, cultured, and exhilarating.

I was surprised that he and Tessie cared whether I visited them or not, given how busy they were. The two of them were like royalty amongst Manila’s literati and intelligentsia; and they had numerous events and people to see. Aside from that, they had Solidaridad to run; they published books; Frankie headed PEN Manila. By this time, Frankie had authored some thirty books, with his five-book Rosales Saga novels published and translated by big international publishers. He had a string of awards including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Cultural Center of the Philippine Centennial Award, the Chevalier dans O’order des Arts et Letters, Pablo Neruda Centennial Award, and the National Artist for Literature...." 
Read on in the Yahoo link please. 

Tags: Philippine literature, Filipino literature, Filipino authors, Philippine authors, Filipino novelists, In memoriam, Tribute 

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