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Coming Fiction from Taiwan— Indigenous Voices (Source: Agenda 21st century Taiwan)

Industry: Politics & Political Organizations

Walis Nokan and Gan Yao-Ming's literary writing sharply points out the deprived and dispossessed status of indigenous peoples in Taiwan, as well as the injustice indigenous peoples all over the world are facing throughout their history.

Los Angeles, CA (PRUnderground) April 26th, 2020

Colonialism and poverty are still living experiences and memories to many Taiwanese.  In literary works, the (dis)continuation of tradition in difficult times or the clashes of cultures and values are the ever present focus. In these two short stories, both authors have successfully carried out layers of messages through intriguing plots, characters and metaphors. Lady Wasi is about a woman’s survival under colonialist rule, and Have A Bite Of The Ghost is the sweet and bitter memory of a family’s living strategy during famine. 

The unique writing style of each author and their concern for humanity are the key to their achievement. Furthermore, even in handling grave issues, both authors don’t forget their sense of humor. 

Walis Nokan is an Atayal writer originally from the Mihuo tribe. His literary writing sharply points out the deprived and dispossessed status of indigenous peoples in Taiwan, as well as the injustice indigenous peoples all over the world are facing throughout their history. Nourished by his indigenous inheritance, Walis established an unparalleled career in the Taiwanese literary scene. He has published numerous reportage, fiction and poetry, and has received prominent literary awards including the Wu Zhuo-Liu Literature Prize, the Taipei Literature Award, and the United Daily News Prize, among many others. Walis Nokan’s reportage Losin Wadan: Colonialism, Tribal Communities and Individuals (1994) was his investigation and reviews of the indigenous victims during the period of White Terror in Taiwan, and his collections of stories, Cruelty of Wars (2014), and Seven-Day Reading (2016),  lead readers to look into the unspeakable misery of indigenous peoples in the relentless historical and social incidents.

Gan Yao-Ming majored Chinese literature in Tunghai University and earned a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the Dept. of English Literature, National Dong Hwa University. Before becoming a full-time fiction writer, Gan had worked as a reporter, a middle school teacher, and a playwright of a small theater. 

Widely recognized as one of the best authors of his generation, Gan Yao-Ming has received various literary awards, including the United Daily News Literature Prize, the Lin Rong-San Literature Prize, Wu Zhuo-liu Literature Prize, and the United Daily New Novelist Prize. 

In 2010, his novel Killing Ghosts won the Award of Taipei International Book Fair, and in 2015, his The Pangcah Girl won the First Prize of Taiwan Literary Award, which is deemed the highest honor for literary writers in Taiwan.

Authors: Walis Nokan, Gan Yao-Ming

Translator: Richard R.B. Chen

Publisher: Serenity International

ISBN: 978-986-96393-1-6

Date of publishing: May, 2020 

Format: 72-page pamphlet

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