Award-winning novel Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco launched in Spain

The Spanish version of Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco was launched in Spain on November 23, reports The Casa Asia in Barcelona hosted the book launch, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Spanish journalist Antonio Lozano and El Salvadoran novelist Horacio Castellanos Moya interviewed Syjuco. "Both hailed Syjuco as an exciting new figure in contemporary fiction, and questioned him on his themes, inspiration and writing style in English, and asked if the work was in fact an autobiographic novel," quoted the DFA.

Claiming the book is not an autobiography despite having the main character named after him, Syjuco said he wanted to write from the point of view of an expatriate-which he reports that Syjuco "wanted to present how the Philippine elite was largely responsible for the country’s problems." While he welcomes the book-related debates that have sprung up locally, he said he does not intend to "inflame" the Philippines.

Ilustrado was recently named one of New York Times’ "100 Notable Books of 2010." The murder mystery won both the Man Asian Literary Prize and Palanca Awards Grand Prize for Best Novel in English in 2008.

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