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The New York Times recommends Taiwanese novel "Ghost Town"

2022-09-28
Ministry of Culture
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The New York Times recommends Taiwanese novel "Ghost Town"
The New York Times recommends Taiwanese novel "Ghost Town"

The English version of Taiwanese author Kevin Chen (陳思宏)'s novel "Ghost Town (鬼地方)" has been listed in New York Times "33 Works of Fiction and Poetry Coming This Fall" list as one of the most anticipated books of fall. Previously, this book was awarded the Annual Golden Book Grand Prize of the Taiwan Literature Awards and shortlisted for the Best Literature Book of the Golden Tripod Awards for Publications.

According to the New York Times, the novel revolves around the leading role Chen Tien-hong (陳天宏), who killed his boyfriend and went to prison. After being discharged from jail, he returns to his hometown, a small village in Taiwan, where he escaped for Berlin years earlier, fleeing family expectations and seeking acceptance as a homosexual. As the story progresses, the reader will learn about his childhood stories and the circumstances of his lover’s death. "I always wanted to write a "ghost story," the author notes in an afterword. "But what exactly is a 'ghost' ?"

The Chinese version of the novel was published in 2019 and it was well received by the public. Later, it was translated into English, Korean, Vietnamese, Italian, and other languages. Western readers can associate the "Ghost Town" with the fictional town "Macondo" from the 1967 novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude (Spanish: Gabriel García Márquez)" by the late Nobel winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Translated by Darryl Sterk, "Ghost Town" is a full-length novel that will be soon published in America. Having been published in the UK in August, the book is scheduled to be published in North America in October. The novel is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture's Grant for the Publication of Taiwanese Works in Translation (翻譯出版獎勵計畫).

The Taipei Cultural Center in New York stated that the New York Times Book Review has 126 years of history and it is the most influential book review in America. With “Ghost Town” listed in the review, it is hoped that it will allow more international readers to see the splendor and uniqueness of Taiwanese literary works.

Currently based in Berlin, Germany, Kevin Chen was born in Changhua County. Invited by the Taipei Cultural Center in New York, he is scheduled to visit New York to participate in lectures at the New York Public Library, Hunter College and more in October.

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