Queer Taiwanese Literature: A Reader, Howard Chiang (ed) (Cambria Press, April 2021)
Queer Taiwanese Literature: A Reader, Howard Chiang (ed) (Cambria Press, April 2021)

Since the lifting of martial law in 1987, queer authors have redefined Taiwan’s cultural scene, and throughout the 1990s many of their works have won the most prestigious literary awards and accolades. This anthology provides a deeper understanding of queer literary history in Taiwan. It includes a selection of short stories, previously untranslated, written by Taiwanese authors dating from 1975 to 2020.

The stories collected in Terminal Boredom take up themes that might feel familiar to readers of contemporary Japanese fiction. The characters criticize, challenge, or defy social conventions. Narrators raise questions about identity and agency. But unlike, say, Mieko Kawakami or Sayaka Murata, author Izumi Suzuki died more than three decades ago.

Return to Sri Lanka: Travels is a Paradoxical Island, the latest book by Razeen Sally, describes the country with the following words:

 

There are shelf-loads of recent books about bigger and better-known countries, not least on Sri Lanka’s giant northern neighbour. But little Sri Lanka hardly pops up on the world’s radar screen. When it does, it presents a fractional, distorted view – bombs going off one day, ethnic riots another day, alleged war crimes. On more peaceful days, it yields tourist images of ‘Paradise’.

 

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) lures the US warship John Paul Jones and its female cigar-smoking commander Sarah Hunt, along with other US warships that are exercising “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea, to render assistance to the Chinese trawler Wen Rui. Commander Hunt discovers that the Wen Rui has aboard “some type of advanced technological suite” that deserves a closer look. Meanwhile, the PLA nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Zheng He and other Chinese warships head directly towards the American flotilla and surround it. A PLA cyber attack shuts down communications between US warships and between those ships and Washington. PLA aircraft from the Zheng He sink two US destroyers, and when two US carrier battle groups arrive to join the fight, 37 US warships, including two carriers, are destroyed and thousands of American naval personnel are dead. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership manufactured a crisis in the South China Sea—which it had claimed for its own since the 1949 revolution—to exert its ownership of the Sea and to launch an invasion of Taiwan. The Chinese had won the Battle of the South China Sea in World War III.

Belief, JF Garrard (trans), Allan Cho (trans), Dawn Chow (trans), Silvia Leung (trans) (Dark Helix Press, April 2021)
Belief, JF Garrard (trans), Allan Cho (trans), Dawn Chow (trans), Silvia Leung (trans) (Dark Helix Press, April 2021)

A new anthology from Canada’s renowned Ricepaper Magazine, this third collection in the Ricepaper Magazine series includes short stories, poetry, and nonfiction by writers of Asian descent from across the world. The theme which binds the collection is “belief”, a notion personal to each individual sharing a piece of themselves in their works.