Ilustrado by Miguel SyjucoIlustrado by Miguel Syjuco


byMiguel Syjuco

Paperback | May 31, 2011

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It begins with a body. On a clear day in winter, the battered corpse of Crispin Salvador is pulled out of the Hudson River-and taken from the world is the controversial lion of Philippine literature. Gone, too, is the only manuscript of his final book, a work meant to rescue him from obscurity by exposing the crimes of the Filipino ruling families. Miguel, his student and only remaining friend, sets out for Manila to investigate.

            To understand the death, Miguel scours the life, piecing together Salvador’s story through his poetry, interviews, novels, polemics, and memoirs. The result is a rich and dramatic family saga of four generations, tracing a hundred and fifty years of Philippine history forged under the Spanish, the Americans, and the Filipinos themselves. Ultimately we learn that this story belongs to young Miguel as much as to his lost mentor, and we are treated to an unhindered view of a society caught between reckless decay and hopeful progress.


Miguel Syjuco has written for various international publications, including the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Globe and Mail, and the CBC. He received the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize and the Philippines’ highest literary honour, the Palanca Award, for the unpublished manuscript of Ilustrado which will be trans...
Title:IlustradoFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.22 × 5.28 × 0.86 inPublished:May 31, 2011Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143172611

ISBN - 13:9780143172611

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spellbinding An incredibly rich novel that is one of the best things I have ever read. A remarkable journey.
Date published: 2016-12-01

Editorial Reviews

"Spiced with surprises and leavened with uproariously funny moments" - The New York Times"A Dazzling and virtupsic adventure in reading... Syjuco is a writer already touched by greatness... a remakrably impressive and utterly persuasive novel. Its author...may succeed with the Nobel committee" - Joseph O'Connor, The Guardian"Brilliantly conceived, and stylishly executed, [Ilustrado] covers a large and tumultuous historical period with seemingly effortless skill. It is also ceaselessly entertaining, frequently raunchy, and efferverscent with humour" - Man Asian Literary Prize Panel of Judges