|About the Book|
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 novelMore2007 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 (literally progression of the effect). 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.Like José’s other novels and stories such as the Rosales Saga, Sherds is another presentation and “meditation” by the author regarding “class conflict” and “malaise in society” in the Philippines through the use of “non-ideological terms” and sharing of his personal knowledge of the “travails of the original tillers of the soil” and the dispossession of the land-tillers through the workings of the oligarchs.Employing a story-telling technique that begins with the “ending of the story, in medias res”, José narrates the tale of the discovery made by Peter Gregory Golangco (also known simply as PG Golangco), a pottery-and-ceramics artist, art professor, and aesthete, through the “Pygmalion-like nurturing” of Guia Espiritu, Golangco’s student who has an elemental idea of art that is “grounded in the clay of oppressed people” of the Philippine countryside.