The winner of the second annual Man Asian Literary Prize has a Canadian connection “ the 31-year-old Filipino author lives in Montreal, where he works as a copy-editor at The Gazette.
Miguel Syjuco, who received an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, picked up the $10,000 (U.S.) prize yesterday in Hong Kong for his debut novel Ilustrado, which tells the story of fictional man-of-letters Crispin Salvador. The novel was written in English but has yet to find a North American publisher. (The Man Asian is awarded to books that are unpublished in English.)
The judges’ panel was presided over by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, who praised the book for its stylistically daring premise:
Ilustrado seems to us to possess formal ambition, linguistic inventiveness and sociopolitical insight in the most satisfying measure. Brilliantly conceived, and stylishly executed, it covers a large and tumultuous historical period with seemingly effortless skill. It is also ceaselessly entertaining, frequently raunchy, and effervescent with humour.