My Brother, My Executioner
Book cover for F. Sionil José's novel My Brother, My Executioner.
|Author||F. Sionil José|
|Publisher||Solidarid Publishing House, Inc.|
|1973, 1974, 1979|
My Brother, My Executioner is a novel by Filipino author Francisco Sionil José written in Philippine English. A part of the so-called Rosales Saga - a series of five interconnected fiction novels - My Brother, My Executioner ranks third in terms of chronology. In the United States, My Brother, My Executioner was published as a second part of the book, Don Vicente, together with Tree, another novel which is also a part of José’s Rosales Saga. Tree is the second novel of the historical saga, before My Brother, My Executioner. This novel was first published in the Philippines in the early 1970s.
- Luis Asperri - Victor's half-brother, illegitimate son of Don Vicente Asperri
- Don Vicente Asperri - feudal landlord, father of Luis Asperri
- Victor - Luis Asperri's half-brother
- Trining - Luis Asperri's female cousin, becomes wife of Luis
Plot summary and description
My Brother, My Executioner, tackles the narrative about two half brothers – Luis Asperri and Victor. Luis is the biological, yet illegitimate, son of Don Vicente Asperri, a rich feudal landowner. At a young age, Luis was taken by Don Vicente from his underprivileged mother and half-brother, Victor, who were both living in Sipnget, Rosales in Pangasinan, a province in the Philippines. After studying in Manila, Luis became a writer and editor for a radical left-wing magazine. When Luis was finally able to return to Rosales, he found out that his half-brother, Vic – the nickname of Victor - became a full-pledged leader of rebels who were against the existence of rich landowners. Thus, the brothers meet again both “as allies and as adversaries” because of their opposing social beliefs, views, status and principles. These conflicts are their mutual misfortunes in life as brothers. Luis identifies with the luxury offered by city life, while Vic detests these materialistic privileges. Furthermore, although Luis considers himself as a liberal, he is more like his father, Don Vicente. He followed the will of Don Vicente by marrying Trining, a cousin – instead of a girlfriend in Manila – in order to preserve the wealth of the family. Luis Asperri is against putting down his status as a wealthy landowner for the benefit of the peasantry. He is against the goals of the uprising of the Hukbalahap or Hukbong Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon – a “people’s army against the Japanese occupiers” represented by the leadership of his half-brother, Vic. The event occurred in Philippine history during the 1950s. The Hukbalahap remained active even after World War II.
- Kerkvliet, Benedict J. A book review for My Brother, My Executioner by F. Sionil Jose, The Journal of Asian Studies, volume 41, number 2, February 1982), pages 417-418, Association for Asian Studies, Jstor.org
- Walton, David. Don Vicente: Two Novels, book review of Tree and My Brother, My Executioner by F. Sionil José, published by Modern Library, Books in Brief: Fiction & Poetry, The New York Times, NYTimes.com , February 6, 2000
- Don Vicente: Two Novels (Tree and My Brother, My Executioner), book review by Publishers Weekly, Reed Business Information, Inc. and Amazon.com, July 1999
- Don Vicente - Two Novels, Tree and My Brother, My Executioner, book review by Library Journal, Reed Business Information, Inc. and Amazon.com, 1999
- Don Vicente - Two Novels, Tree and My Brother, My Executioner, Synopses and Reviews, Powells.com