Taiwan Writers Translation Series

Magnolia: Stories of Taiwanese Women

Written by: Tzeng Ching-wen

Translated by: Jenn-Shann Lin and Lois M. Stanford

“Ah-ch’un’s Wife was coming back to Old Town to attend the wedding of her son, Lin Hung-ming. This was big news for those residents of Old Town who had lived here for more than twenty years. Even those who had been born later would have come to know something about Ah-ch’un’s Wife through hearsay and exaggerated tales, and would have visualized her appearance in their minds. They looked forward to seeing Ah-ch’un’s Wife with their own eyes in her true colors on Hung-ming’s wedding day.”      

From “Ah-ch’un’s Wife,” Magnolia

Magnolia: Stories of Taiwanese Women by Tzeng Ching-wen, is the first in a projected set of major works to be published under the title of Taiwan Writers Translation Series. Tzeng Ching-wen is a master storyteller. His short stories are small, brilliant mirrors reflecting the life of four generations in Taiwan. In this collection, Magnolia, we have chosen stories in which women are the focus, and in particular, women’s lives and roles in a tumultuous and rapidly changing society. His language, his unforgettable characters, and the vividness of the world of Old Town, Taipei, and the surrounding countryside in which the stories take place produce narratives that remain etched upon our hearts.

Co-editors: Kuo-ch’ing Tu and Robert Backus

Taiwan Writers Translation Series, Volume 2

An Anthology of Short Stories by Yeh Shih-t’ao

Written by: Yeh Shih-t’ao

Translated by: John Balcom, Howard Goldblatt, Yingtsih Hwang, Jenn-Shann Lin, Pei-yin Lin, Sylvia Li-chun Lin, Simon Patton, Terence Russell and Lois M. Stanford       

“The sun was still low in the sky as Pan Yinhua carried a scoopful of manure on a hoe to the wax apple orchard, but she was already sweating under late spring rays that baked the ground.”      

From “The Last of the Siraya,” An Anthology of Short Stories by Yeh Shih-t’ao

As a novelist, a literary critic, a historian of Taiwan literature, and a framer of the theory and subjectivity of Taiwan literature, Yeh Shih-t’ao occupies an unparalleled position in the development and study of Taiwan literature.

Many of his stories bring a tender, yet uncompromising, account of the human drive to find freedom and the sometimes tragic endings it brings. With pathos, melancholy, and unexpected twists, Yeh Shih-t’ao brings to life the long journey of Taiwan in the twentieth century, securing his legacy as one of the founders of modern Taiwan literature.

Kuo-ch’ing Tu and Terence Russell, editors

Yeh Shih-t’ao was a veteran writer, a critic, and a literary historian, who advocated that a writer’s responsibility was to lead all men along a brighter road to peace and order. He showed us in his writings that we should all espouse tolerance, be broad-minded, and strive to create a world truly free and democratic.

Professor Emeritus Jenn-Shann Lin