Miguel Syjuco is a Filipino author, journalist, civil society advocate, and professor at New York University Abu Dhabi. His debut novel, Ilustrado, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and its acclaim includes both the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Grand Prize at the Palanca Awards, his country’s top literary honor; it has been translated into 16 languages.
His latest novel, I Was the President’s Mistress!!, will be published in April 2022 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. A political satire that explores power, corruption, free speech, citizenship, and the erosion of democracy, Kamila Shamsie describes it as “bawdy, fearless, insightful, delightful,” while David Mitchell has dubbed it “an uncompromising work of art,” and Salman Rushdie calls it “brilliant… Miguel Syjuco is his country’s most original and unflinching literary voice.”
Dr. Syjuco has written for many of the world’s most respected publications and spoken on Philippine politics and culture at the World Forum for Democracy and the World Economic Forum. He currently serves on the advisory councils of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, an international arts residency program, and the Resilience Fund, a project by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime to empower communities most threatened by criminality.
As a journalist, Dr. Syjuco worked as a copy editor at The Independent Weekly (Australia) and The Montreal Gazette and has contributed to the New York Times, the Guardian, Time, Newsweek, the International Herald Tribune, the Globe & Mail, the New York Times Book Review, Rappler, Esquire, the Boston Review, OpenDemocracy, the BBC, the CBC, Inside Higher Ed, and many others. Most recently, he’s worked as a contributing opinion writer for the International New York Times,
Currently an Assistant Professor of Practice, Literature, and Creative Writing at New York University Abu Dhabi, Dr. Syjuco was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University and the International Writer-in-Residence at Singapore’s Nanyang University. He has a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Adelaide, a master’s degree in creative writing from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the Ateneo de Manila University. He has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Santa Maddalena Foundation, the Adelaide International Scholarship, the Canada Council, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec.
Both his fiction and non-fiction focus on politics, history, inequality, cultural identity, literature, and formal experimentation. He calls Manila home.