16 September 2013

Book Review: Angelwings

Fran Martin is a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies with the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. She translated and editing this book of queer Taiwanese fiction(but did not contribute any stories).

It is rare that I write about fiction work here. I enjoyed two of the stories especially and decided to include it here, in the event that someone else is curious about Taiwanese gay/lebsian/queer literature.

The two stories I particularly enjoyed were Hsu Yoshen's "Stones on the Shore" and Lin Yuyi's "The Boy in the Pink Orchid Tree". Hsu's story is an interesting representation of diasporic Chinese queer life in American while Lin's work manipulated my soft spot for unrequited love in narrative.

Some of the other stories were a bit tedious for me and I have to admit that I didn't connect with the lesbian stories. I don't know if that was the style of author or it came out in translation that way. It certainly wasn't the translator's problem because I really liked Hsu and Lin's stories. Chi Tawei's "A Stranger's ID" was written well but very depressing and left me with a sense of meaninglessness about life.

The anthology presents a snapshot of LGBT life in Taiwan of the 1970s-1990s.

The version I read was a 247 page cloth published by the University of Hawaii Press (February 2003), ISBN-13: 978-0824826529. It is written in English. The lowest price I found online was used at abebooks.com (if you include shipping in your calculations).

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