Considered a long-lost Filipino classic, Wilfrido D. Nolledo’s novel But for the Lovers finally comes home to the Philippines more than 50 years after its initial publication in the United States in 1970 with the new Philippine edition by Exploding Galaxies.
Based in Manila, Exploding Galaxies is a new publishing house focused on republishing out-of-print works of contemporary Philippine fiction.
This series, beginning with Wilfrido D. Nolledo’s But for the Lovers, will bring lost classics of Filipino writing back into print and in active circulation, as well as into conversations in and around Philippine literature.
Exploding Galaxies will publish two to four books each year, with a focus on novels and short story collections, in English, Tagalog, or regional languages. Each book’s spine carries the year of first publication, so that each collected copy can be lined up on a shelf by year.
In Lovers, Hidalgo de Anuncio, a jaded vaudevillian besotted with Hispanic nostalgia, brings home to Ojos Verdes a girl lost in the streets of Japanese-occupied Manila.
With his attendant Molave Amoran—wistful guitarist and cunning thief—the payaso fondly guides his ingenue through a war-torn universe as perplexing as it is marvelous.
With unsparing literary panache, this novel marries delirious lyricism and startling grotesqueries as it commemorates those who had once dared to love in a dying city.
The novel’s author, Wilfrido Nolledo, stands as an influential figure in Philippine literature. Born in 1933 in Manila, Nolledo was already a published writer at the age of 14 before studying at the University of Santo Tomas. His short stories have appeared in the Philippines Free Press where he was a staff member from 1963 -1966.
Nolledo received numerous Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for works such as his short story “Rice Wine.” In 1966, Nolledo was given a Fulbright-Hays scholarship to attend the University of Iowa.
After participating in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he eventually served as the editor of the Iowa Review. In 1972, he returned to the Philippines and wrote for various national magazines while scripting for movies. He moved back to the United States in 1990 to join his family. Nolledo died in Los Angeles in 2004.—Don Jaucian, editor, Exploding Galaxies