Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University-–in cooperation with Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP), Fine Arts Program, and Rizal Library-–will be hosting a reading and lecture by Miguel Syjuco titled “Striving for the Novel. Novel, as in, New.” This reading and lecture will be held on Nov. 20, 2014, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Fine Arts Theater, 3/f Gonzaga Hall, Ateneo de Manila University.

For Miguel Syjuco, the Philippine novel is “always laden with baggage-–or ballast, depending on perspective. It wrestles with history, post­olonial reactionism, quotidian inequality, political frustration, and limited readership; all in addition to the writerly challenges of craft, formal innovation, and artistic achievement.” During this presentation, Syjuco will read from his recently­ completed second novel titled I Was the President’s Mistress!!. He will also briefly discuss his evolution as a writer engaged with the tradition of Philippine literature in English. A Q&A session will follow.

Miguel Syjuco was born and raised in Manila. His debut novel Ilustrado was a New York Times Notable Book of 2010 and won the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize and many other international awards. It has been translated into 16 languages. Syjuco has written for the New York Times, Newsweek, International Herald Tribune, Walrus, Globe & Mail, the CBC, the BBC, among others. He has a PhD in literature from the University of Adelaide, a master’s degree in creative writing from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Ateneo de Manila University. A member of the Academy of the Folio Prize, as well as an associate editor of Manila Review, he recently completed a Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University and is currently the International Writer­in-Residence at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.