‘But for the Lovers’ is an all-consuming masterpiece
“But for the Lovers” remained tragically unpublished in the Philippines until the efforts of Exploding Galaxies, a new local press dedicated towards publishing out-of-print Philippine fiction.
– Lakan Umali
To read is to remember: Small publishing house to reprint forgotten Filipino novels
"The publishing house [Exploding Galaxies] is starting their mission with Wilfrido D. Nolledo’s But for the Lovers, bringing the classic novel about life in the Philippines during the Japanese Occupatiion and eventual liberation back to its home shores 50 years after publication in the United States."
– Kristine Joy Patag
New local press Exploding Galaxies brings forgotten Filipino literary stars back to life
"When the books we publish are seen all together, they form a strong and meaningful constellation, even if we keep well in mind that these books are so individual. I think because we’re only at our first title, we’ve yet to see the construction of how the series will present itself and it will only become clearer as we publish our next books."
– George Dungca
How newly-launched press Exploding Galaxies is reviving out-of-print Filipino literary gems
"We have a singular purpose at Exploding Galaxies: to publish out-of-print works of great Philippine fiction. This also means that a lot of the books we publish are already long-completed novels, we don’t receive manuscripts, and most of the writers we will publish are no longer living. We select books by the degree that it compels us – publishing each book is a sizable time and financial commitment and so far, But for the Lovers and our upcoming titles are books that we are completely overcome by – and we need to be because of the (rewarding) challenge involved to get each book in the hands of many readers."
– Sophia Gonzaga
New publishing house to revive forgotten gems of Philippine literature
"Whether they find the works by chance, through crowd-sourcing, or in second-hand bookstores, they are always looking for the unearthed, undiscovered masterpiece that they know must be shared with the world."
– Philip CuUnjieng
Wilfrido D. Nolledo, word magician
"...there was a kind of magic to the novel with a heroine that was part Maria Clara, part nymph, and part avenging woman warrior."
– Amadis Ma. Guerrero
The Novel as Revenant
"Parenthetical in every page, packing in alliterations and puns, sly humor and an au courant’s procession of historical and literary memories, whipping in Tagalog, Spanish and Japanese, Nolledo is a Fellini of flamboyant fecundity, fleshing up his narratives with fey characters and dream-like filigree. Will today’s reader prize what Joaquin lauded as baroque story-telling? Or maybe argue that parading otherworldly characters is already loading the dice for romantic appeal? Would deviant structure be subject to cancel culture? But no, never Nolledo’s substance, forever a flower to be savored."
Exploding Galaxies rediscovers lost classics of Philippine fiction
"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."
Literary Treasure: Nolledo’s “But for the Lovers” Is Now Back In The Spotlight
"On the other hand, I had never heard of Nolledo before and was tasked to write the introduction for the book, which is an introduction to Nolledo himself. I scoured the internet for everything on him, from literary critiques in defunct journals to archived blog posts, and reached out to people who knew him personally, like Krip Yuson and the Nolledo family. What emerged was a portrait of an artist as a brilliant young writer, an émigré amid the alien corn, a California retiree on the verge of finishing his final novel, but also a father and husband who put his family first."
– Audrey Carpio
A Filipino classic comes home
This narrative bravura — reminiscent of anyone from Carpentier and Genet to Joyce and Morrison, with Joaquinesque set pieces here and there — of course means the book’s readership will be select, although even at its most prolix, it is never completely impenetrable. These and many other points of entry — of visceral pleasure, of profound historical pain — should open up But for the Lovers to readers who are willing to participate in Nolledo’s fever dream of brutality, fatigue, grit, and transcendence.
– Glenn Diaz
Wilfrido Nolledo's 'But for the Lovers' returns to life, thanks to publisher Exploding Galaxies
Given the rich cast of characters, some critics have mentioned the word "Dickensian" when describing the novel. Me, I’d add how it’s also very "Mervyn Peake," where the gothic and grotesque inhabit this vivid, off-balance snapshot of post-war Manila. Without doubt, this is a literary gem of Philippine fiction; a singular work of art that occupies its own space fiercely and without compromise. Literature such as this may not be populist in taste, but it shouldn’t be ignored. So kudos to Exploding Galaxies for this Nolledo "resurrection."
– Philip CuUnjieng
But for the Lovers By Wilfrido Nolledo
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.
– Philippines Graphic
Manila publisher breathes new life into a classic
We’ll be publishing Linda Ty-Casper’s The Three-Cornered Sun later this year – a historical novel set in 1896, during the Philippine Revolution. The book is an incredibly powerful accomplishment that surprisingly very few people have read – as I often quote Ty-Casper: “History is our biography; literature is our autobiography.” I truly see that in this book. Hopefully, through republishing the book, it can be enjoyed by many. Sometimes it’s the pull of a book whose writing carries some indescribable power – it’s fate, sometimes a novel demands it.
– Luis V. Francia
Exploding Galaxies revives lost classics of Philippine fiction
This comes at an exciting time when love for literature, particularly in the local scene, is rekindled. The National Book Development Board’s most recent survey states that 77 per cent of reader-respondents have read a printed book in the past years. A finding from Picodi, a global e-commerce platform, supports this fact, noting that 69 per cent of respondents bought at least one book in the past year. “People seem to be reading a lot more literature now. So it’s a perfect moment we’re coming into,” says Coson.
– Jio Baldesimo