Three Filipino Women

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Three Filipino Women: Novellas

Three Filipino Women novella cover.jpg

Book cover for F. Sionil José's Three Filipino Women
Author F. Sionil José
Country Philippines
Language English
Genre Fiction
Publisher Random House
Publication date
ISBN 9780307830289
Two Filipino Women

Two Filipino Women book cover.jpg

Book cover for F. Sionil José's Two Filipino Women
Author F. Sionil José
Country Philippines
Language English
Genre Fiction
Publisher The Cellar Bookshop
Publication date
Pages 104
ISBN 9711001136

Three Filipino Women: Novellas is a book authored by award-winning Filipino literary writer, F. Sionil José. The book is a compilation of three novellas, each narrating a segment in the life and experiences of three women in the Philippines, providing the reader a journey to the "mentality and geography of the Philippines" and to the use of English as a language that the characters are "trying to make their own", [1] reflective of how a Filipino speak in Philippine English, characterized by being "heavy on the reflexive" (similar to the speaking style used by Ferdinand Marcos) and with its own form of "phrasing" and "edge of formality". [1]

F. Sionil José Filipino writer

Francisco Sionil José is one of the most widely read Filipino writers in the English language. His novels and short stories depict the social underpinnings of class struggles and colonialism in Filipino society. José's works—written in English—have been translated into 28 languages, including Korean, Indonesian, Czech, Russian, Latvian, Ukrainian and Dutch.

Novella written, fictional, prose narrative normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel

A novella is a text of written, fictional, narrative prose normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, somewhere between 17,500 and 40,000 words.

Women in the Philippines

The role of women in the Philippines is explained based on the context of Filipino culture, standards, and mindsets. The Philippines is described to be a nation of strong women, who directly and indirectly run the family unit, businesses, government agencies and haciendas.



One of the male narrators in the novellas was an educated man trying to "come to terms with post-colonial corruption, sexuality and women" tells the stories about three Filipino women who lived in three periods in Philippine history: one who lived during the late 1960s, another who lived in the 1970s, and the other lived in the early 1980s, all of whom experienced the politics and "their passions" during their own respective eras. [1] The three novellas in the collection include Obsession, Platinum, and Cadena de Amor (literally "Chain of Love"). Three female characters were portrayed in each novella: one of a prostitute named Ermi (the "expensive call-girl") in Obsession, the other of a student political activist named Malu in Platinum, and another is of a politician named Narita in Cadena de Amor. [2] [3]

All the men acting as story-tellers in the novellas each hoped to have "a transcendent experience with the woman who fascinates him--but cannot escape the sense of his own corruption". The three novellas explored the "character of a Filipina, and by extension" of the Filipinos, their society and their nation. [4]

Publication history

The current compilation titled Three Filipino Women was published by Random House in the United States in 1992. Prior to that, two of the novellas were published by The Cellar Bookshop in the Philippines on December 28, 1981 as a 104-page book under the title Two Filipino Women (. [3] One of the novellas, whose protagonist is named Ermi, a prostitute, was included as a chapter in a full-length 1988 novel titled Ermita: A Filipino Novel .

Random House general-interest trade book publisher

Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world. As of 2013, it is part of Penguin Random House, which is jointly owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann and British global education and publishing company Pearson PLC.

<i>Ermita</i> (novel) novel by F. Sionil José

Ermita: A Filipino Novel is a novel by the known Filipino author F. Sionil Jose written in the English language. A chapter of this novel was previously published as a novella in the books titled Two Filipino Women and Three Filipino Women.

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Philippine literature in English

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Po-on A Novel is a novel written by Francisco Sionil José, a Filipino English-language writer. This is the original title when it was first published in the Philippines in the English language. In the United States, it was published under the title Dusk: A Novel. For this novel's translation into Tagalog, the title Po-on Isang Nobela – a direct translation of Po-on A Novel - was adopted.

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The God Stealer short story by F. Sionil José

"The God Stealer" is a short story by Filipino National Artist F. Sionil José. It is José's most anthologized work of fiction. It is not just a tale about an Ifugao stealing a religious idol, but also about the friendship that developed between a Filipino and an American, a representation of the relationship that developed between the "colonized" and the "colonizer". The story was a first prize winner during the 1959 Palanca awards in the Philippines. It is included in the book by José with a similar title, The God Stealer and Other Stories.

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<i>Sherds</i> (novel) book by F. Sionil José

Sherds is a 2007 short novel or novelette written by Filipino National Artist for Literature and multi-awarded author F. Sionil José. According to Elmer A. Ordoñez, a writer from The Manila Times, in Sherds José achieved “lyrical effects”, specially in the novel’s final chapters, by putting into “good use” Joseph Conrad’s and Ford Madox Ford’s so-called progression d’effet. Sherds is the latest and last novel by José. According to The Atlantic National Correspondent James Fallows, the novel is dedicated to the author’s wife Teresita José. The novel, which can be read in one sitting, was described by Li-an de la Cruz-Busto, a reporter for Sun.Star Davao as “very light but candid and insightful”, a description that complements The Manila Times reporter Perry Gil S. Mallari’s calling José’s Sherds as an “easy read and a guaranteed page-turner”. A novel composed of twelve chapters with a "tight and palpable" narrative pacing, Sherds deals with topics related to "personal conscience, greed and the position of art" in social class struggle, thus serving as a cogitation on "what is wrong" with the Philippines as a nation. José wrote Sherds while he was in Japan.

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Solidaridad book shop in the Ermita district of Manila opened its doors in 1964. It is owned by Philippine national artist F. Sionil José and managed by him and his family. It is sometimes called "The best little bookstore in Asia".


  1. 1 2 3 Bundesen, Lynne. "BOOK REVIEW : Journey Into Heart of the Philippines : THREE FILIPINO WOMEN By F. Sionil Jose ; Random House; $22, 176 pages (August 13, 1992)". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  2. "Three Filipino Women: Novellas by F. Sionil Jose". BARNES&NOBLE, Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  3. 1 2 "Two Filipino Women". Goodreads, Inc. Retrieved 17 November 2013., ISBN   9789711001131
  4. "F. Sionil Jose, Author Random House (NY)". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 17 November 2013.