Miguel Syjuco is an award-winning Filipino writer. He studied English Literature at the Ateneo de Manila University in 2000, and for an MFA from Columbia University in 2004. Ilustrado (2010), his bright and brilliant debut, earned him a pair of prestigious awards – the Grand Prize for the Novel in English at the 2008 Palanca Awards, and the Man Asian Literary Prize. ‘It is ceaselessly entertaining, frequently raunchy, and effervescent with humour’, praised the judges.
In 2010 Syjuco took part in our Elsewhere new writing project. You can find his Elsewhere-themed short story Be Here Now or listen to him reading the piece on our website. And our recording of his 2010 Book Festival event in which he appeared alongside South American author Alberto Manguel makes interesting viewing.
Syjuco’s novel Ilustrado was in the running for our inaugural Readers’ First Book Award in 2010. Each year, every one of the debut novels, novellas and short story collections appearing in our adult programme is entered into our First Book Award, and the winner is chosen by a public vote enabling readers to champion new fiction by voting for their favourite. Details of which authors are in the running for the award each year are announced here on our website when the Book Festival programme is launched in June.