Nestor Vicente Madali Gonzales
September 8, 1915- November 28, 1999
National Artist for Literature
Adviser, U.P. Creative Writing Center
Nestor Vicente Madali Gonzales' life as well as his works were often filled with images of the Filipino countryside, which he wrote most memorably of even during his years of exile in the United States. He was born in Romblon, Romblon and grew up in the lush countryside of Wasig, Mindoro --- places that have made an obvious mark on his work as he wrote about its scenery, poverty and dreams.
At a very early age, NVM decided that he what he wanted to be was a writer. Having withdrawn his pursuit of a degree from the National University, he was to later become one of only two people to teach at the University of the Philippines without a college degree. He was also a recipient of many awards and international grants. During his long stay in the United States in the 1960's, he became visiting professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara, the California State University in Hayward, and at UCLA. Upon his return to teach at the UP in 1990, UP had already bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate and an International-Writer-in-Residence status. In 1997, he was honored with the National Artist for Literature.
Among other awards, NVM also recieved the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature, the Philippine Republic Merit Award for Literature in English, the Republic Cultural Heritage Award, the Jose Rizal Pro Patria Award, and the City of Manila Medal of Honor.
A much-loved teacher, a distinguished fictionist, and author of 11 books including Bread of Salt and The Bamboo Dancers, NVM undoubtedly left a formidable legacy as one of the most influential voices of Philippine literature.