Taiwanese literature is making headway into the German market. A Taiwan-Germany literature exchange program jointly launched by the Ministry of Culture and Literarisches Colloquium Berlin has invited 9 Taiwanese writers to take part in the one-month residency program in Berlin over the next 3 years. They will promote Taiwan's society and culture as well as contact German publishers, seeking opportunities for collaboration and raising the island's profile on the European stage.
Department of Humanities and Publications Director Wang Shu-fang (王淑芳):
We hope to work with our writers to introduce their works to local publishers in Germany. We are planning to introduce Taiwanese writers at the Leipzig Book Fair.
At that venue, we hope that our writers can meet with other writers from around the world. We also hope that Taiwan's literary works will receive wider recognition.
Taiwanese recitals at Leipzig Book Fair
Writers selected by the Ministry of Culture will take part in the residency program covering fiction, essays, and poetry. The program will kick off with writers Chung Wen-yin (鍾文音), Ho Ching-pin (賀景濱), and Hao Yu-shiang (郝譽翔), who will also attend the 2015 Leipzig Book Fair to publicly recite Taiwan's modern literature under the theme of "Hearing that Island."
Writer Chung Wen-yin (鍾文音):
This time I will recite a piece of work selected from my "Old Appearances of Young Ladies" (少女老樣子) collection.
When I was young, my mother was working as a matchmaker. It's a unique Taiwanese tradition, so I would like to introduce this custom to the German people.
Residency program to broaden horizons
Participating writers said it's a rare opportunity that will be different from their own past travel experiences. They added that they will share their new perspectives with readers after returning from Germany.
Writer Chung Wen-yin (鍾文音):
Residency is a different form of traveling.
This time I can exchange viewpoints with foreign writers as well as share Taiwan's literature with them. I believe that being a writer from an island, it's our destiny to go abroad. I will go abroad with my works, hoping to reap fruitful rewards.
Writer Ho Ching-pin (賀景濱):
I would like to understand how Germany views Taiwan. Germany and Taiwan share similar histories of separation. What does Germany look like after the reunification? I would like to see their literary transformation after the reunification.
Taiwan-Germany literary cooperation
Germany is the largest publishing market in Europe. The Literarisches Colloquium Berlin is also the most prestigious literature exchange institute in Germany that is best known as the cradle of the Nobel Prize in Literature. The second large-scale cooperation between the Ministry and the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin hopes to stimulate more inspiration for literary creation though this program.