Miguel Syjuco’s Ilustrado Wins the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize
Hong Kong, 13 November 2008 – A panel of three internationally acclaimed authors and experienced literary judges named Filipino author Miguel Syjuco the winner of the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel Ilustrado, a fictional account of a young Filipino caught within a notorious scandal spanning over the Philippine history.
The Man Asian Literary Prize was established in 2006 to bring greater worldwide attention to Asian writing and authors. The inaugural prize was awarded in November 2007 to Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong, which was published in English to great acclaim in early 2008. Several works shortlisted and longlisted for the 2007 Prize have since been published.
The panel of judges for the 2008 prize praised Ilustrado:
“The shortlist for the Man Asian prize testifies to the great vitality of the novel in Asian societies undergoing hectic and unexpected transformations. In the end, we had to choose; and 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.”
The prize winner was announced at a celebratory dinner at The Peninsula Hong Kong and Miguel Syjuco was awarded USD 10,000.
The judging panel for the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize is: Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada (Chair); Nicholas Jose, writer, scholar and former Cultural Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in China; and Pankaj Mishra, acclaimed Indian writer and thinker.
The shortlist of five from which the winner was chosen included Indian writer Kavery Nambisan for The Story that Must Not be Told, Indian writer Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi for The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay, Filipino writer Miguel Syjuco for Ilustrado, Chinese writer Yu Hua for Brothers and Filipino writer Alfred A. Yuson for The Music Child.
Man Group plc is the sponsor of the Man Asian Literary Prize, in cooperation with Asian Literary Prize Ltd. Man Group also supports a variety of other programmes as well as charities aimed at furthering literature and literacy, including the Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival, a 10-day event that attracts authors from around the world and thousands of attendees. Separately, Man Group also sponsors the annual Man Booker Prize and the bi-annual Man Booker International Prize, in conjunction with the Booker Foundation.