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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

Playing in Isolation: A History of Baseball in Taiwan • Junwei Yu

In one of the great sporting runs of all time, from 1971 to 1981 Taiwan’s Little Leaguers went unbeaten at the annual Little League Baseball championship in the American town of Williamsport, scoring an incredible thirty-one straight victories. A whole generation of Taiwanese grew up rooting for these twelve-year-old schoolboys. […]

By |October 28th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Colonial Project, National Game: A History of Baseball in Taiwan • Andrew D. Morris

Although baseball is considered Taiwan’s national sport, finding physical evidence of its popularity on the ground is surprisingly hard. Go to a park on the weekend and basketball is what you see kids playing. Baseball is, however, Taiwan’s most popular spectator sport, and the only one with a professional league […]

By |October 27th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

A Taipei Mutt • Eric Mader

I started the book with the question “What the hell is this?” and finished it with the question “What the hell have I just read?” To describe Eric Mader’s engrossing, fearless novel as extremely unusual doesn’t come close. A Taipei Mutt is a difficult book to make sense of, to […]

By |October 3rd, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

The Unquiet Daughter • Danielle Flood   

My favourite book of the year, The Unquiet Daughter is a beautifully written, big-hearted memoir of a daughter’s search for her biological father.

Danielle Flood was born in Saigon in 1951 but grew up in the United States, where her parents divorced when she was eight. Four years later her mother […]

By |September 23rd, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

A Very Late Gap Year in Taiwan • P.R. Travis

On Amazon (but not the book itself) this self-published teaching memoir has the subtitle: “I spent one year teaching ESL in Asia, so you don’t have to.” Similarly, a black-hearted reviewer might be tempted to write that he read the book so you don’t have to. However, my policy on […]

By |December 20th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Live at the Forbidden City: Musical Encounters in China and Taiwan • Dennis Rea

Between the time when the Maoist stranglehold loosened and the rise of the globalized Internet-connected China, there was an age of undreamed-of possibilities. And unto this came American musician Dennis Rea like a time traveller from the future, guitar in hand, bearing the dubious gifts of progressive rock and free […]

By |December 17th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments