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Miguel Syjuco

1 June 2010 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

Discussed is the bestselling, award-winning and critically acclaimed novel Illustrado by Miguel Syjuco, who joins Joseph Planta to talk about Filipino culture, history, politics, arts, and more, topics covered in the book.

Illustrado by Miguel Syjuco. (Hamish Hamilton, 2010)

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Illustrado

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line. This is THECOMMENTARY.CA.

One of the most highly awaited and critically acclaimed books of the season, Illustrado is out now. Its author is the much talked about Miguel Syjuco, whose first novel has already won the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Palanca Award, and did so before it was published. The book has also been well received in Canada, the United States and in the Philippines, whose culture, popular and otherwise, is at the centre of this book. My parents are Filipino, but I was born here, and so I’ve never identified myself as anything but a Canadian, perhaps a British Columbian, certainly a Vancouverite. But my culture is something I’ve discussed on this program, whether it’s been with authors like Nam Le, Judy Fong Bates, Wayson Choy or Denise Chong, as well as Mable Elmore, the first Filipino-Canadian elected to the BC Legislature. And it’s fitting, after a short vacation there earlier this year, and discussing the recent elections there on this show with Winnie Monsod, that all of this thinking about who I am comes together with Mr. Syjuco’s book, an astonishing, introspective look at Filipinos and the Philippines. It’s a novel, yet its gift is its ability to give a view that’s useful, whether you’re like me and you have some roots, or you’re looking for great writing. It’s often funny as well. www.syjuco.com is his website for more. Illustrado is published in Canada by Hamish Hamilton. I’m very pleased to welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, from his home in Montreal, Miguel Syjuco; Good morning, Mr. Syjuco.