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Taiwanese author Kevin Chen makes his mark at the Brooklyn Book Festival

  • Date:2023-10-19
Kevin Chen

This year’s Brooklyn Book Festival (BKBF), which ran from Sept. 24 to Oct. 2, had its highlight, the “Flagship Festival Day and Literary Marketplace,” on Oct. 1 in Brooklyn, New York. Taiwanese author Kevin Chen was invited to attend this prestigious event.

Kevin Chen was invited to share the stage with Korean-Japanese author Yu Miri and Mexican writer Gerardo Sámano Córdova. Together, they explored the theme “Of Spirits and Monsters,” delving into characters in literature who are bound by various factors like gender, societal structures, and war. On the same day, Chen held a book signing event at the Europa Editions booth, meeting and greeting American readers.

Chen’s novel, “Ghost Town,” is set in his hometown of Yongjing (永靖), Changhua County, following different generations of the Chen family across both human and ghostly perspectives. Through layers of memories, the novel unveils the family’s wounds, the town’s secrets, and the unrelenting march of time.

Since the English version of “Ghost Town” was released in the United States last fall, Kevin Chen has collaborated closely with the cultural offices of the Ministry of Culture in the United States and Canada. He has been invited to give literary lectures and meet readers all over North America, conducting more than 30 lectures with his captivating storytelling charm, earning praise from readers.


Rights have been sold to publish “Ghost Town” in 11 languages. Since its English release in North America in October last year, it has been featured on the New York Times Fall Reading List, received accolades from “The New York Times Book Review,” “Booklist,” and was named one of the “Top 10 Best World Literature Works of 2022” by “Library Journal.” In September of this year, the French version of “Ghost Town” was featured in a special literary review in France’s “Le Monde,” garnering significant international attention.

Thanks to the coordination by the Taipei Cultural Center in New York, Kevin Chen became the first Taiwanese author to participate in BKBF. This participation allowed him to bring a Taiwanese perspective and presence to this literary extravaganza in New York, further expanding the visibility of Taiwanese literature in the United States.