But for the Lovers: A Novel

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Dalkey Archive Press, 1970 - Fiction - 316 pages

In the 25 years since its original publication, But for the Lovers has acquired an underground reputation as one of the most remarkable novels about World War II, doing for the Pacific war theater what Joseph Heller's Catch-22 did for the European one. Set in the Philippines, But for the Lovers depicts the survival of a cross-section of Filipinos during the Japanese Occupation and the American Liberation. The cast is enormous, including an old man who used to wander the countryside entertaining children, a young girl raped by Japanese soldiers, guerrilla messengers bringing word of the coming of the American army, and a Japanese major who views the war as the first step of the liberation of the Asian people from Western civilization. This extraordinary novel is no less remarkable for the power and the beauty of its language than for the exotic and magical world it creates. Ranging from hallucinatory lyricism to documentary realism, from black humor sketches to scenes of horror and degradation, But for the Lovers is a rich and complex exploration of language, history, and mythology. The hardcover edition (Dutton, 1970) was praised by the New York Times Book Review as "stunning"; this is the first paperback edition, for which novelist Robert Coover has written an appreciative foreword.

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But for the Lovers

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

For his first English novel, this Filipino author received high praise, including that of LJ's reviewer who claimed Nolledo "[has] perfect control of technique, and appears, enviably, to be able to ... Read full review


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About the author (1970)

Nolledo led an enriching literary career, producing works that won prizes and awards. Among them were: the National Cultural Award for Drama from the City of Manila, National Award for Drama from the Writers' Union of the Philippines, and the Roman Grand Prize for Novel. He also garnered a Great Filipino Achiever Award from the U.S.-Philippine Expo '94 "for distinguished career in literary writing, for the pride he has bestowed on the Filipino people through the recognition given him by...American publishers and readers." He was recognized in 2001 by his own school (San Beda University) with the Bedan of the Century trophy for lifetime achievement in literature.

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