Skip to main content

Taiwanese author Chi Ta-wei attends Canadian literary festival

  • Date:2022-10-25
Taiwanese author Chi Ta-wei attends Canadian literary festival

Taiwanese author Chi Ta-wei (紀大偉) was invited to attend the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, joining the readings, discussions, and book signing events for two consecutive days. Chi shared his queer science fiction novel "The Membranes (膜)" with readers in Canada and talked about the changes in Taiwan's diverse society and culture from the 1990s to the present.

The novelist stated that the journey was his first visit to Toronto in ten years. He found out that Canada now attaches more importance to the subjects such as the LGBTQ community, indigenous peoples, and immigrants than before. These issues, corresponding to Taiwan's development process, were also inspirations in his creations, said Chi.

TIFA invited a total of 11 writers to create works with the theme of "We come back together, only to fall apart (我們重逢,只為分崩離析)" and collaborated with the organization Pen Canada to hold the reading event.

On Sept. 30, Chi presented his short story “Biospheres (生態球)” by reading in English and Mandarin with emerging Canadian author Kim Fu at the Harbourfront Centre. Continuing the queer sci-fi theme of "The Membranes," "Biospheres" tells a story that humans in the future build biospheres on the earth and prepare to move back.

On Oct. 1, Chi gave a talk at the dedicated forum at the Harbourfront Centre. He mentioned Momo (默默), the main character of "The Membranes,” was inspired by the foreign cultures of Japan, Canada, and other countries in the 1990s. He said the dramatic changes in politics, society, culture and gender issues at the time prompted him to present gay literature in the form of science fiction. He encouraged audiences to consider the relationship between modern technology and human beings, revealing the possibility of creating a sequel in the future.

TIFA is the annual literary event that holds the highest reputation in Canada. After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, the event held in person this year, inviting numerous famous authors from more than 30 countries and launching more than 200 programs.