Skip to main content

Author Kevin Chen gives a talk at Taiwan-Japan Writers Exchange in Tokyo

  • Date:2023-08-31
Kevin Chen (left) and translator Misu Yusuke

This year, the Taiwan Cultural Center in Tokyo cooperated with Kinokuniya Bookstore, one of the largest bookstore chains in Japan, to organize the Taiwan-Japan Writers Exchange, inviting Taiwanese novelist Yang Shuang-zi (楊双子) and author Kevin Chen (陳思宏). The first session of the writers' exchange was well-received and the second one was held on July 30, featuring a dialogue between Chen and the Japanese translator for Chen’s award-winning book “Ghost Town (鬼地方),” Misu Yusuke (三須祐介), who is also a professor at Ritsumeikan University.

Dedicating the book to seven of his sisters, Chen opened up about his childhood, mentioning that he was born and raised in a big family, and through publishing this book, he hopes to preserve the old memories. During the dialogue, Chen also expressed gratitude to Misu for translating the book so as to reach out to more Japanese readers. Chen, now based in Germany, revealed that his novel’s translator even made a special trip last year to visit his hometown in Yongjing Township, Changhua County, and touched many hearts with his translation.

“Ghost Town” talks about the family secrets of the protagonist, Keith Chen, who has just returned to Yongjing, the rural village where he grew up in Taiwan. The novel won multiple literary awards after its release, including the NT$1 million grand prize at Taiwan Literature Award for Books and the Golden Tripod Award, and it has already been translated into at least 10 languages such as English, Greek, Polish, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Vietnamese, French, German and more. It was also selected by the Library Journal in the category of Best of World Literature 2022. The novel has been licensed to Our Theatre (阮劇團) to be adapted into a stage play, which is scheduled for a world tour in 2025.