Miguel "Chuck" Syjuco (b. 17 November 1976) is a Montreal-based Filipino writer. He is the co-founder and editor of the online publication Localvibe.com. He won the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2008 for his novel Ilustrado, which also earned him the grand prize in the 2008 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. He is currently the literary editor of the Manila Review and a member of the Folio Prize Academy.
He is interested in how fiction can be used to examine complicated issues such as cultural identity, sexuality, religion, personal freedom, and political corruption.
Early life and education
Miguel Syjuco was born on 17 November 1976 to a political clan in Makati City. He is the son of Representative Augusto Syjuco Jr. of the second district of Iloilo in the House of Representatives, and Judy Jalbuena. He completed his studies in English Literature at Ateneo de Manila University where he received a Dean's Award for the Arts in Creative Writing. His early works were published in Ateneo's literary magazine, Heights, and were also included in the UP Likhaan Anthology for Best Poetry and Fiction.
Later, he went to the United States to pursue a master's degree in Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Columbia University. Then he moved to Australia to complete his Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of Adelaide.
In 2013, Syjuco was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University. In 2014, he served as the International Writer-in-Residence at NTU, in Singapore.
Syjuco began publishing his poetry and short stories while he was still studying. These were featured in national and international publications. He worked for various international publications such as The New Yorker, Paris Review, Esquire, and Time. Aside from his published works, he is also known as the co-founder and editor of the first online city guide and lifestyle magazine in Metro Manila, Localvibe.com.
His novel, which won numerous awards, was published in Spanish (Tusquets), Swedish (Natur och Kultur), and Dutch (Mouria). In 2011, the said novel joined books by David Mitchell, Aleksandar Hemon, Marie NBiaye, and Wells Tower for the Premio von Rezzori. It was among the top three finalists for the USD 55,000 Prix Jan Michalski. It is an annual Swiss prize for the best international book. The novel was also a finalist at the Prix Courier International, which honors the best international books translated in France.
In 2011, it was published in translation in Serbian (Geopoetika), French (Editions Christian Bourgois), Catalan (Tusquets), Italian (Fazi), Japanese (Hakusuisha), Czech (Jota), German (Klett-Cotta), and Brazilian Portuguese (Compahnia das Letras).
Syjuco worked as a copy editor for the Montreal Gazette in Montreal, Canada.
Awards and recognition
- Winner, Man Asian Literary Prize (2008) for Ilustrado
- Best Novel in English, Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards in Literature (2008) for Ilustrado
- QWF Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, (2010) for Ilustrado
- New York Times Notable Book of (2010) for Ilustrado
- Globe and Mail Top 100 of 2010 (2010) for Ilustrado
- Finalist, Commonwealth Writers' Prize (2010) for Ilustrado
- Amazon First Novel Award (2010) for Ilustrado
- 2010 Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal (2010) for Ilustrado
- Balikbayan claims Palanca win at Tribune.net
- Filipinos in 2nd Man Asian Literary Prize longlist at ThePOC.net
- "Miguel Syjuco." (Accessed 27 October 2008)
- "The ‘Ilustrado’ in Miguel Syjuco." (Accessed 27 October 2008)
- "Debut Filipino novelist wins Man Asian literary prize." Reuters.com (Accessed 15 November 2008)
- “MiguelSyjuco”.Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.(Accessed 17 November 2014)