Gilda Cordero-Fernando wrote short fiction in her "early housewife" years, from 1952 to 1970, then put it behind her to go into non-fiction and publishing. The stories in this collection are the cream of that period. They were originally printed in two volumes -- The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker and A Wilderness of Sweets.Some of the stories have won Free PresGilda Cordero-Fernando wrote short fiction in her "early housewife" years, from 1952 to 1970, then put it behind her to go into non-fiction and publishing. The stories in this collection are the cream of that period. They were originally printed in two volumes -- The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker and A Wilderness of Sweets.Some of the stories have won Free Press and Palanca awards. A few are taken up in college English classes and are widely anthologized.In the publishing field, Ms. Fernando's GCF BOOKS has trailblazed with big illustrated Filipiniana volumes such as Turn of the Century, Culinary Culture of the Philippines and History of the Burgis. She was the Patnubay ng Sining awardee for literature in the 1993 Araw ng Maynila, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Gawad awardee for literature and publishing in 1994....
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Story Collection Reviews
I have read only two stories of Gilda Cordero-Fernando, A Wilderness of Sweets (which I plan to reread) and People in the War. The former I have already reviewed, so in this section I shall only focus on the latter.My first reaction upon finishing this short story was: "Oh my God, this is so amazing." It is very much reminiscent of her other story, especially because of the setting, plot, context, and the protagonist's voice. Again the narration is lyrical and well-written. The beautiful words are heavily masking the grim horror about to come. This might be boring for some (but definitely not to me!) because it doesn't have much dialogues and there are lots of information brewing in - backgrounder, observations of Victoria, etc.Again the author inserted a blooming romance between the youth, and I was getting so fluttery over them...and yet Gilda Cordero-Fernando (whom I am beginning to love) has broken my heart once more.This text is so rich with vivid details about the harsh conditions during the Japanese occupation. It's like reading a history book, but with a twist. Towards the last few pages (as in A Wilderness of Sweets I was beginning to have goose bumps and my heart was beating so quickly. By the last page, when only a few paragraphs were left, my goose bumps have reached the extreme and I was crying. I was feeling so terrible and sad. I was so grievous the war had to happen...I don't know what to say. This reading experience is just...Oh, the feels of this one.