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F. Sionil José writes again for The STAR
Francisco Sionil José was born on Dec. 3, 1924, in Rosales, Pangasinan. He is best known for The Rosales Saga, a five-novel epic that encompasses 100 years of Philippine history, 1872-1972, and depicts the Philippines’ revolutionary tradition.

F. Sionil José writes again for The STAR

(The Philippine Star) - October 27, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose returns to The STAR starting today with his weekly column “Hindsight” appearing in the Opinion section.

Francisco Sionil José was born on Dec. 3, 1924, in Rosales, Pangasinan. He is best known for The Rosales Saga, a five-novel epic that encompasses 100 years of Philippine history, 1872-1972, and depicts the Philippines’ revolutionary tradition. 

A prolific writer whose childhood memories of his hometown are the roots of his works of fiction, José has written more than 35 books – novels, short stories, poetry and social commentaries. Earlier in his writing career, he also was an award-winning journalist. He is the Philippines’ most widely translated writer, with his works translated into more than 25 foreign languages, as well as Ilokano, Tagalog and Cebuano.

He has also been involved with international cultural organizations, notably International P.E.N., the world association of poets, playwrights, essayists and novelists, the Philippine Center which he founded in 1958 and for which he served as national secretary until 2007. 

In 1965, José and his wife Teresita founded the Solidaridad Bookshop and Publishing House. The following year, he established Solidarity, a monthly magazine whose contributors included Asia’s leading writers, poets, statesmen, scholars and political and social activists. The next year, the couple launched Solidaridad Galleries, which was dedicated to giving Filipino art a Filipino face, and to providing a space for new, young Filipino artists to exhibit their works. Lao Lian Ben, Imee de Guzman, Tiny Nuyda, Onib Olmedo and Mario de Rivera are among the artists who held their first exhibit at the Galleries.

Recognition of José’s literary works and his influence on the Philippines and Asia include the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Arts (1980); National Artist of the Philippines, Literature (2001); the Order of Sacred Treasure, Japan (2001); the Pablo Neruda Centennial Award (2004) and Officer in the French Order of Arts and Letters (2014).

Nearly 94, he continues to be a prolific writer and relentless voice against social injustice and national amnesia. He still climbs the three flights of steps to his writing alcove at the Solidaridad Bookshop in Manila. And almost weekly, he gives talks on history, culture and writing to young people – high schoolers and college students – and teachers.

F. SIONIL JOSE
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