As part of the "Taiwan Fiction" series, "Formosana: Stories of Democracy in Taiwan (Formosana: Histoires de démocratie à Taiwan )," a collection of nine short stories by contemporary Taiwanese writers, was published by the French publishing company L'Asiathèque in February. Gwennaël Gaffric, chief editor of the "Taiwan Fiction" series, sharing his motivation and the process of promoting Taiwanese literary works in France, said that he hopes the stories will allow French-speaking readers to understand the historical and social trajectories of Taiwan and the talents of Taiwanese writers.
In this anthology, the works by authors representing current Taiwanese literary scene explore a multitude of facets of Taiwanese history and society – including its political history (the Japanese colonization, the events of February 28, 1947, the white terror, the movement of "non-party," the lifting of martial law, the process of democratization of the country ...) and its social history (aboriginal movements, workers, feminists, LGBT, students, environmentalists…).
In an exclusive interview with Central News Agency (CNA), Gaffric talked about his reasons for choosing Taiwan's democracy as the main theme for this book. He stated that there is increasing discussions about Taiwan by the French media nowadays, but, as he sees it, the French people generally do not understand the historical and social trajectories of this island. He said, "We attempt to allow people to understand the fate of Taiwan from the past to the future, through various types of literary works which provide different channels and voices."
He also revealed that his next project is to publish the works of an indigenous writer, Syaman Rapongan, who is from the Tao aboriginal tribe in Taiwan, to introduce culture of Taiwan’s indigenous people.
Gaffric is a lecturer in Chinese studies at Jean Moulin University Lyon 3, where he teaches Chinese language and culture. The chief editor of the "Taiwan Fiction" series has translated into French several Taiwanese books, including Wu Ming-yi's (吳明益) "The Man with the Compound Eyes (複眼人)" as well as "Membrane (膜)" by Chi Ta-wei (紀大偉).