Filipino author Miguel Syjuco wins 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 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. Miguel Syjuco was awarded USD 10,000.
Ilustrado was selected from shortlist of five:
Kavery Nambisan, The Story that Must Not be Told
Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay
Miguel Syjuco, Ilustrado
Yu Hua, Brothers
Alfred A. Yuson, The Music Child
The Man Asian Literary Prize is considered the most prestigious award of its kind in Asia.
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