Filipino Author Featured in The Guardian

Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco

The author and his work were featured by four Guardian writers.

British traveller, jazz singer, and a friend of mine Mr. Jack Burns sent me a link of an interesting review of a novel entitled Ilustrado written by internationally acclaimed Filipino author Miguel Syjuco.

The particular Guardian article was written by British novelist and literary critic Adam Mars-Jones. His review made me want to order and read the book. The review itself is already a fascinating read.

Then I got curious if there are other UK authors who wrote separate reviews about the novel. The search result became more interesting – there are actually three more from The Guardian! They are Joseph O’Connor, Hermione Hoby, and Robert McCrum. Mars-Jones and O’Connor wrote the bit lengthy reviews; Hoby wrote the shortest one; and McCrum commented about the author’s state of success.

O’Connor wrote:

Syjuco is a writer already touched by greatness, but his truly uncommon gifts delight all the more when they are permitted to emerge subtly, without overture. But this is a remarkably impressive and utterly persuasive novel.

While McCrum commented:

To cut a long story short, Miguel Syjuco’s manuscript won the prize in 2008, as well as the grand prize for “a novel in English” at the Palanca awards in the same year. And now he’s enjoying the fruits of success with a promotional tour in the US. If ever a prize did an unknown writer a favour it must be this one.

Miguel Syjuco’s novel won the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize and the 2008 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the Philippines’s highest literary honour. His book is publised by Pan Macmillan UK, it is one of the largest general book publishers in the United Kingdom.

Most probably, many of you already know this good news years ago. The least this space can do now is to join those readers or reviewers who still re-echo Syjuco’s magnum opus to those who missed this news some years back (myself included). Thanks to you Jack buddy for sharing it.

To read the four authors’s respective reviews please click on the title links shown below:


Fonacier, Kristine, The incredible, ironic, infuriating awakening of Miguel Syjuco. 14 September 2016.

The author talks about his work:


Photo from THE FAIRWAY GALLE LITERARY FESTIVAL Programme Day 4 page. IN CONVERSATION: Miguel Syjuco on Ilustrado

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