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The Food of Taiwan: Recipes from the Beautiful Island • Cathy Erway

The standout successful English-language book about Taiwan in recent years – well, other than the perennial chart-topping Lonely Planet travel guide – has been Cathy Erway’s The Food of Taiwan: Recipes from the Beautiful Island. Normally I would read such a bestseller right away, if not from interest, then at […]

By |April 25th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Ghost Month: A Taipei Night Market Novel • Ed Lin

 

Ed Lin’s Ghost Month (2014) incorporates several quintessential Taiwanese elements – religious superstitions, gangsters, night markets, and betel-nut girls – into a murder mystery. It’s set during the seventh month of the Chinese calendar (typically falling in August), a time when the dead roam the world of the living. The spirits […]

By |April 23rd, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Flight to Formosa • Frank Clune

In the years after China’s “Liberation” (as an aside, China’s “liberation” should always be used with quotation marks) a steady stream of leftist visitors paid court to Mao Zedong’s PRC and came away enthusiastically repeating CCP propaganda. Likewise, there were many “useful idiots” on the right who returned from stage-managed […]

By |April 23rd, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Taiwan: A Travel Guide for Vegans • Jesse Duffield

Taiwanese Nazis? That’s sometimes the initial confused impression visitors get when seeing a shop sign swastika. The visitor soon reads or is told that it’s an ancient Buddhist symbol (which Hitler reversed) and it is associated with vegetarian restaurants: find a reversed swastika and you’ve found yourself vegetarian food. However, […]

By |April 21st, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Author Interview: Menno Goedhart

Menno Goedhart was the Netherlands representative in Taiwan from 2002 to 2010. He is the main author of The Real Taiwan and the Dutch, a guidebook to people and places connected to the seventeenth-century period of Dutch occupation.

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How do diplomatic postings work; were you assigned to Taiwan or […]

By |April 14th, 2018|Author interviews|0 Comments

The Real Taiwan and the Dutch: Traveling Notes from the Netherlands Representative • Menno Goedhart and Cheryl Robbins

When I came upon this Dutch-flavored guidebook in Jenny Wilsen’s independent bookstore in Taichung (gone the way of all flesh alas despite my NT$450 purchase) first impressions were decidedly mixed. Beautifully printed and lavishly illustrated, it looked, however, with its multitude of pictures of the author (over fifty of them!) […]

By |January 25th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

The Formosa Fraud: The story of George Psalmanazar, one of the greatest Charlatans in Literary History • Graham Earnshaw

The subtitle is no exaggeration: the Formosan imposter, who went by the name Psalmanazar, really was one of the greatest charlatans in literary history. As author Graham Earnshaw says, “he not only faked literary works, he faked himself, too.”

Despite Psalmanazar writing a confessional memoir, published posthumously, many of the details […]

By |January 24th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Writing and Pictures, 1683–1895 • Emma Jinhua Teng

Although Taiwan’s Imagined Geography is more an academic work than popular non-fiction (no surprise to learn that it began life as a doctoral dissertation) it’s digestible enough for the non-specialist general reader to tackle. Published in 2004 by Harvard University Press, the book is actually one of the best-selling titles […]

By |January 23rd, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West • Tonio Andrade

I approached Lost Colony with scepticism because of the book’s overreaching subtitle: The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West. While the story of the battle for Fort Zeelandia in 1661–1662 is little known to those unfamiliar with Chinese or Taiwanese history, it’s hardly untold. Nor can […]

By |January 21st, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Looking Through Taiwan: American Anthropologists’ Collusion With Ethnic Domination • Keelung Hong and Stephen O. Murray

Communist victory in 1949 sealed China off from Western journalists, missionaries, Sinologists, tourists, and pretty much everyone except for the occasional leftist sympathizer. For some anthropologists, however, Taiwan provided an excellent substitute destination. Looking Through Taiwan (2005) examines how this displaced anthropological research often involved willing complicity with the authoritarian […]

By |January 13th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments