Ilustrado: Miguel Syjuco

Illustrado, winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize, is a remarkable debut novel that weaves poetry, stories and interviews with the lives of two men and the history of their beloved homeland.

Miguel is a young student studying in New York under the tutelage of the ‘Lion of Phillipine Letters’ Crispin Salvador. Salvador has for many years been working on his opus – a brilliant novel that will expose the weakness and corruption of his country. Ilustrado opens with the discovery of Salvador dead in the Hudson River, expected suicide. Unconvinced, Miguel becomes obsessed with the missing manuscript and embarks on a biography of this difficult and outspoken man, returning to the Phillipines to meet Salvador’s family and compatriots. Interspersed with his journey are excerpts from Salvador’s poetry, interviews, novels and essays that build a rich narrative of a nation and its troubled history. And it is a story that forces Miguel to confront his own unhappy past.

Cover image for Ilustrado


Miguel Syjuco

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