A collection of short stories written by Taiwanese and Malaysian writers was officially launched at a literary exchange forum hosted by the National Tung Hua University in eastern Taiwan on April 12.
The collaboration contains 12 short stories translated from Chinese to Malay, and vice versa, with half of them written by Taiwanese authors and the other half by Malaysian ones. The collection has two editions — Chinese and Malay, so that readers fromboth countries can read the classic works in their native languages.
Edited and published by the Taipei Chinese Center and the Malaysia Institute ofTranslationand Books (ITNMB), the book is funded by the Ministry of Culture's Emerald Initiative.
The six Taiwanese authors whose stories are included in the book are Huang Chun-ming (黃春明), Wang Wen-hsing (王文興), Ping Lu (平路), Lin Tai-man (林黛嫚), Yu Wen-cheng (宇文正), and Tsai Su-fen (蔡素芬), while the Malaysian writers include Malim Ghozali PK, S.M. Zakir, Jasni Matlani, Kathirina Susanna Tati, and Jong Chian Lai.
Their works portray the diverse culture and life at the bottom of society in the two nations. Taiwanese writers touch on the topics of homesickness, family relationships, human nature, and the destiny of the forgotten minorities. The Malaysian stories, on the other hand, focus on the issues of ethnicity and indigenous awareness.
The Malaysian authors come from different ethnic backgrounds so the themes and ideas in their works focus more on the country's social problems in a collective effort to provide multiple perspectives on their society, noted Mohamed Khair Bin Ngadiron, director of the Malaysia Institute of Translation and Books.
The release of the book, which has helped to deepen literary exchanges between Taiwan and Malaysia, was made possible by the funds contributed by the Emerald Initiative. The initiative funds Southeast Asian artists and cultural professionals to visit Taiwan and present their cultural works.
Since its launch six months ago, the initiative has subsidized 21 exchange programs that enabled 79 Southeast Asian professionals to share their creations in Taiwan.
More programs funded by the initiative are scheduled to take place starting May.