Cover Photo: F Sionil Jose / Facebook

We look back at the late National Artist, F Sionil Jose’s most famous works

F Sionil Jose, the decorated author, publisher, and founder of the Philippine chapter of international organization PEN has written novels and short stories in English that tackle colonialism and the struggle with class hierarchy, portraying his unrelenting nationalism. Though the author has passed at the age of 97, his stories shall live on as he would have wanted.

See also: F Sionil Jose's Open Letter To Writers: Advice From A National Artist for Literature

Tatler lists down the author’s most famous works throughout the years:

1 / 5

My Brother, My Executioner

There's a reason why My Brother, My Executioner continues to be read today. Such is the brazen and dark message it conveys about our history and present situation using a system, culture, and characters that all seem too familiar.

2 / 5

The God Stealer and Other Stories

Sionil Jose's short story collection, The God Stealer and Other Stories consists of works that are worth reading including the eponymous piece, The God Stealer, which depicts colonialism in an ingenuine story of friendship between a Filipino and an American.

See also: What To Read 2021: 9 Fiction Books By Filipino Authors To Add To Your Bookshelf

3 / 5

Viajero

The Filipino diaspora is well portrayed in Sionil Jose's Viajero. The readers meet Badong, who later becomes Salvador dela Raza, an orphan in search of his identity in the 1940s Philippines. He later discovers his roots as a Filipino.

See also: Philippine Folklore and Japanese Literature: What do They Have in Common?

4 / 5

The Pretenders

Sionil Jose's The Pretenders, the fourth book in the Rosales Saga, is one of the author's most famous works as its themes remain relevant today—corruption, poverty, and the Filipino identity. In the book, the readers are reintroduced to Antonio Samson who pursues a degree in the prestigious Harvard University and marries a well-heeled Filipina instead of his cousin Emy, whom he loves and has a son. 

5 / 5

Mass

Completing the Rosales Saga, Mass, is set during the time before Martial Law. The fifth and last book from the series follows Pepe Samson's journey in finding his identity, the underlying message of Mass, as the protagonist struggles to acquire a degree in Manila. 


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