Books From Taiwan

Through the twitter grapevine, I got wind of Books From Taiwan, a new initiative funded by the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture to introduce fiction and non-fiction to foreign publishers and readers alike. (h/t: Lettres de Taïwan)

In the same vein as Korea, Taiwan is investing money and efforts on the Culture factor to boost its soft power on the international stage. Through Books From Taiwan, it seems that the Ministry of Culture is hoping to attract foreign publishing houses to translate and market Taiwanese literature. To that end, a grant program has even been put in place.

A short biography of the authors and samples of English translation of their works is available on the minimalist but user-friendly website, and most of all, I’m very much delighted that the name of the authors and titles of the books are indicated in both English and Chinese. Hallelujah! Amen! 阿彌陀佛! It’s a tiny detail, but if you’ve ever tried to find the original Chinese name of a book/author from its English translation, then you’ll understand my grief relief.

<rant>Last frustrating case in point: The Island Against the Wind by Lin Wen-yi. Just try figuring out the original Chinese name of the title and author. 😭 Since Taiwan Today so kindly left an email of contact at the end of the article, I did reach out to them, but in vain…</rant>

<rave>And this is why I give much kudos and 100 kg of brownie points to Lettres de Taïwan, a French website dedicated to introducing translated works of Taiwanese Literature, for now including these oh so crucial pieces of information.</rave>

At any rate, my to-read list is already long enough to keep me busy in this life and the next few ones, but it’s exciting to now have this approachable venue in English to delve into Taiwanese literature.

While we are on the subject, the Taipei International Book Exhibition is starting today, and running until February 16th. Be there or be square (like me 😥 ).

Update: thanks @LettresTaiwan for filling me in with the Chinese name of The Island Against the Wind, 「逆風之島」 , from Lin Wen-Yi 林文義.

(last modified: 2015/05/17 日)



2 thoughts on “Books From Taiwan

    1. Ooh, you’re too harsh on yourself, I’m sure it’ll be worth reading. 🙂 AFAIK, no long term western foreigner in Taiwan has ever written a book on their experience living here.


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