The award-winning literary work of Filipino writer Miguel Syjuco “Ilustrado” has now been translated into 15 languages, which traces 150 years of Filipino history, posing questions about identity and art, exile and duty.
The novel which won the 2009 Man Asian Literary Prize and the grand prize in the 2008 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature was recently launched in the Swedish version in Stockholm.
Filipinos and foreigners waited in line to buy his book and to have the novel autographed by the Pinoy writer.
“It’s the best gift for my family and Swedish friends,” said conference hostess Jeannette Lunderg.
The New York Times recently named it as one of the top 100 books for the year, and the Sunday Times hails it as “an impressive and acerbically witty debut” that is “exuberantly written”, while the Financial Times praised it as an “unruly and energizing novel” that “bristles with surprising imagery”. The Guardian also touted the book as a “dazzling and virtuosic adventure in reading.”
Philippine Ambassador to Sweden Zenaida Angara Collinsson was likewise proud of the extensive media coverage that the book launch received.
“Ito ay malaking karangalan para sa atin. Ang coverage niya dito ay very extensive, and for the first time, we had major dailies writing positive news, mabubuting bagay tungkol kay Miguel Syjuco at sa kanyang obra maestra na ‘Ilustrado’,” Ambassador Collinsson said.
Syjuco is grateful for the warm welcome he received in Sweden. He said his novel mirrors the events that happened in the Philippines.
Furthermore, he is confident that President Benigno Aquino III will instill the much needed reforms in the country.
“Personally, I think he is the most qualified and the most well-meaning among all of them,” Syjuco said.
Born and raised in the Philippines, with an education from Columbia University in New York, Syjuco lives and works in Canada.
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