Francisco Sionil Jose was born on December 4, 1924 in Rosales, Pangasinan, Philippines. It was in public school that Jose was first introduced to literature and later at the University of Santo Tomas where he graduated from the College of Philosophy and Letters. While working as an editor and a writer for The United States Information Service and The Manila Times Magazine in Manila, Jose also engaged in writing short stories and eventually novels. In the late fifties Jose founded the Philippine chapter of PEN, an international organization of poets, playwrights, and novelists. In 1965 he started his own publishing house SOLIDARIDAD and a year later began publishing the Solidarity a journal on current affairs, ideas and the arts where he also is the editor. The sheer volume of his writings has placed F. Sionil Jose at the forefront of Philippine writing in English. It was in 1962 when his first novel, The Pretenders which is the first leg of his five-novel masterpiece was published. The Rosales saga, as the 5 novels were called, consisted of Tree, My Brother, My Executioner, Mass, and Po-on.
This was eventually followed by 5 more novels, five books of short stories and a book of verse. His works have been translated into 24 languages and have recently been published in North America by Random House Publishing. He has been awarded numerous fellowships and awards such as bestowed the CCP Centennial Honors for the Arts in 1999; the Outstanding Fulbrighters Award for Literature in 1988 and most notable being the 1980 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative communication Arts, the most prestigious award of its kind in Asia. Hence, Francisco Sionil Jose has often been regarded as a Philippine national treasure. .
“I have trod and searched and searched but found nothing.” (Sionil, 192).
My Brother My Executioner follows the misfortunes of two brothers brought up in two different settings having the same desire to better the world they live in.