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Taiwanese writers participate in Toronto International Festival of Authors

  • Date:2023-10-18
Taiwanese authors Bei Lynn (left) and Kevin Chen

Taiwanese authors Bei Lynn (林小杯) and Kevin Chen (陳思宏) were invited to Canada to attend the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) in late September, presenting the charm of Taiwanese literature to Canadian readers and writers from around the world through Lynn’s picture books and Chen’s novel, “Ghost Town (鬼地方).”

Illustrator and author Bei Lynn did the art for author Julia Liu (劉思源)’s picture books “Leilong’s Too Long! (騎著恐龍去上學)” and “Leilong the Library Bus (騎著恐龍去圖書館),” along with her book entitled “Bibbit Jumps (步步蛙很愛跳),” all of which have been published by New Zealand publisher Gecko Press. At the festival’s “TIFA Kids” section, Lynn conducted workshops and storytelling sessions for kids in Toronto, guiding them through creative drawing experiences.

Lynn is known for her distinctive artistic style and has published over 20 picture books, stories, and comics. Her work has received numerous awards, including the Feng Zikai Book Award (豐子愷圖畫書獎), Japan’s Sankei Children’s Publishing Culture Award, the Golden Tripod Award for Illustration, and the Taipei International Book Exhibition Grand Prize, along with selection in the Korean Nami Concours Illustration Award. Her works have been translated into multiple languages, including Japanese, Korean, French, Slovak, Thai, and English, earning her international recognition.


Kevin Chen made his Canadian debut with the novel “Ghost Town” and participated in a discussion with the renowned queer author Catherine Hernandez. They explored captivating themes such as cultural identity, family, and belonging found in their respective works. In addition to the festival activities, Chen was invited to give literary lectures at the University of Toronto’s East Asian Studies and Linguistics departments.

Rights for Chen’s novel “Ghost Town” have been sold for 11 different language editions. Since its English release in North America last October, it has gained international attention, making it to the New York Times Fall Reading List and receiving stellar reviews in specialist publications such as the magazine “Booklist.” The French edition was also praised as a “success” in the September 2023 edition of France’s “Le Monde” literary review.

TIFA was founded in 1974 and is one of Canada’s most iconic and long-standing literary events, attracting nearly 80,000 attendees each year. This year’s event, with the theme “Taking Flight,” ran from Sept. 21 to Oct. 1 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre and featured over 200 events, inviting outstanding authors from Taiwan, Colombia, Japan, Ukraine, and across Europe and the Americas.

The Taipei Cultural Center in New York has collaborated with TIFA for several years, promoting Taiwanese authors and works at literary events, with authors Wu Ming-yi (吳明益), Ho Chih-ho (何致和), Chi Ta-wei (紀大偉), and others taking part.