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Miguel Syjuco has won a $2,000 prize for his debut novel Ilustrado.

The Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan fiction prize is awarded by the Quebec Writers' Federation.

Ilustrado also won the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize. However, it has been ignored by the major Canadian book prizes.

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The novel follows a young writer's investigation into the death of his mentor and the mysterious disappearance of the man's unfinished manuscript.

Also up for the Hugh MacLennan prize was Doug Harris's YOU Comma Idiot, and The Extinction Club by Jeffrey Moore.

Syjuco was not at the award ceremony on Tuesday, as he was in Spain for the launch of the Spanish edition of Ilustrado.

The jury called Ilustrado "a highly ambitious work with many layers - layers that academics and lovers of literature will probably be picking through for many years to come."

Meanwhile, Sean Mills won the QWF First Book Prize for The Empire Within, a non-fiction look at political activism in 1960s Montreal.

The Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction went to Cleo Paskal for Global Warring, and Kate Hall won the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry for The Certainty Dream.

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