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• Born on September 8, 1915

• Romblon
• In 1948, he received a Rockfeller
Foundation Fellowship, which
allowed him to study in Stanford
University and Columbia

Year of Conferment: 1997

• He is a famed poet, short story

writer, essayist, professor and
recipient of numerous recognitions.
• Two years before his death (1997),
he was proclaimed a National Artist
for Literature.
• His exemplary works have been
published in several languages
including Filipino, English, Chinese,
German, Russian and Indonesian. 3
• The Winds of April
• A Season of Grace
• The Bamboo Dancers
• The Bread of Salt

Book Covers 4
• Even in his autobiographical first novel, The Winds
of April, written in his youth, Gonzalez presents: an
attachment to the array of creatures on land and
sea, a respect for the men and women whose lives
depend on nature’s whims and their own unflagging
efforts, and a dream of surmounting these hazards
without forgetting them, by moving to cities where
opportunities for education and for writing about
one’s discoveries and their implications abound.
• At the same time that The Winds of April describes
the aspirations of the author from birth to young
adulthood, it captures the hopes of a whole people
on the verge of independence from the United
States. Virtually all the copies of that novel, along
with hopes for a smooth transition to national
sovereignty, were destroyed during World War II.
• What emerges in A Season of Grace,
during postwar reconstruction, is a
view less naïve but still based on the
courage and determination of a people
who find in hardship the same promise
of life’s renewal that the rich volcanic
ash of their soil offers their labor.
• They do not arise abruptly,
miraculously, like the phoenix from
those ashes, but their right to stand
erect is wholly and undeniably earned,
if only gradually, painstakingly.
• This novel follows the travels of an
Americanised Filipino man and his
struggles to embrace his own roots in
rural culture. Praised for its subtlety
and careful handling of culture
clashes, The Bamboo Dancers is one
of a series titled Filipino Literary