Miguel Syjuco

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Miguel Syjuco
Miguel Augusto Gabriel J. Syjuco

(1976-11-17) November 17, 1976 (age 42)
Metro Manila, Philippines

Miguel Syjuco (born November 17, 1976) is a Filipino writer from Manila and the grand prize winner of the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize for his first novel Ilustrado.

Early life and education[edit]

Born Miguel Augusto Gabriel J. Syjuco, he is the son of Representative Augusto Syjuco Jr. of the second district of Iloilo in the Philippine House of Representatives, and Judy Jalbuena.[1]

Syjuco graduated from high school in 1993 from the Cebu International School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2000 and completed his MFA from Columbia University in 2004. In early 2011 he completed a PhD in literature from the University of Adelaide.

Early in his career, he was a fellow of the 1998 Silliman National Writers Workshop in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental.

Writing career[edit]

His novel, Ilustrado, won the Grand Prize for the Novel in English at the 2008 Palanca Awards. In November of the same year, he won the Man Asian Literary Prize also for Ilustrado.[2]

In 2010, the novel won the QWF Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction,[3] Quebec's top literary prize, and was a New York Times Notable Book of 2010[4] as well as a Globe and Mail Top 100 of 2010.[5] The novel was also a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize,[6] a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award,[7] and a finalist for the 2010 Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal.[8] In late 2010, Ilustrado was published in translation in Spanish (Tusquets),[9] Swedish (Natur & Kultur), and Dutch (Mouria).

In 2011, Ilustrado joined books by David Mitchell, Aleksandar Hemon, Marie NBiaye, and Wells Tower for the Premio von Rezzori.[10] It was also among the three top finalists for the $55,000 Prix Jan Michalski,[11] an annual Swiss prize for the best international book, as well as the Prix Courrier International, which honors the best international books translated in France.[12]

In 2011, it was published in translation in Serbian (Geopoetika), French (Editions Christian Bourgois), Catalan (Tusquets), Italian (Fazi), Japanese (Hakusuisha), Czech (Jota), German (Klett-Cotta), and Brazilian Portuguese (Compahnia das Letras).

Syjuco is represented by Peter Straus at the Rogers, Coleridge and White Literary Agency in London, and by Melanie Jackson in New York City. He has already sold a second book to North American publishers.[1]

In 2013, he was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University. In 2014, he served as the International Writer-in-Residence at NTU, in Singapore.

He is currently a visiting professor in the Literature and Creative Writing department at New York University Abu Dhabi.

Personal life[edit]

Since 2004 Syjuco has been based primarily in Montreal, Quebec.[13]


  1. ^ a b Lau, Joyce Hor-Chung (May 8, 2010). "An Expatriate Filipino Writes of a Parallel Life". The New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  2. ^ Sophia Lizares Bodegon (March 21, 2011). "Miguel Syjuco, author of 'global Filipino novel,' graces Perth Writers Festival". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  3. ^ "Miguel Syjuco". The Globe and Mail. Toronto.
  4. ^ "100 Notable Books of 2010". The New York Times. November 24, 2010.
  5. ^ Levin, Martin; Kirchhoff, Jack (November 27, 2010). "The 2010 Globe 100: Canadian fiction – The Globe and Mail". The Globe and Mail. Toronto.
  6. ^ http://arts.nationalpost.com/2011/02/10/canadians-dominate-commonwealth-writers-prize-shortlists/
  7. ^ http://arts.nationalpost.com/2011/02/22/kathleen-winter-miguel-syjuco-among-nominees-for-amazon-ca-first-novel-award/
  8. ^ http://www.cyberpresse.ca/arts/livres/201104/08/01-4387821-miguel-syjuco-philippines-au-pays-de-la-fiction.php
  9. ^ http://www.gmanews.tv/story/207625/filipino-novel-ilustrado-launched-in-spain
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 4, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ http://www.fondation-janmichalski.com/en/prix-jan-michalski/edition-2011/
  12. ^ http://www.courrierinternational.com/article/2011/09/22/notre-selection-2011
  13. ^ "Montreal's Miguel Syjuco disappointed to be shut out of Canadian book prizes". The Globe and Mail, October 20, 2010.

External links[edit]