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Angelwings

Contemporary Queer Fiction from Taiwan

Fran Martin

Publication Year: 2003

Lesbian and gay--or queer--fiction (known in Mandarin as tongzhi wenxue) constitutes a major contribution to Taiwanese literature, as evidenced by the remarkable number of prestigious literary awards won by many of the authors of the short stories presented here. Indeed, the meteoric rise of this new genre was a defining feature of Taiwan's literary scene in the 1990s. Queer fiction was also instrumental in forming self-identifying subcultural gay readerships, thus serving a significant political function. But most strikingly, this fiction has been immensely popular with general readers in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, as well as in diasporic Chinese communities worldwide. The startlingly fresh, brave voices that speak through these stories attest to the powerful social ferment of the past ten years in Taiwan, which have witnessed a revolution in discourses on sex and sexuality in the public sphere.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

This book, like any, represents the result of work by many people. Special thanks to Dale Lin for her meticulous and skilled assistance with sections of some of the translations. I am indebted to my editors at the University of Hawai‘i Press, Sharon Yamamoto and Pamela Kelley, for their unfailing enthusiasm and support throughout the ...

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Introduction. TAIWAN’S LITERATURE OF TRANSGRESSIVE SEXUALITY

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pp. 1-28

On the first damp, gray day of 1999, an unsuspecting passerby en route to the vegetable market in Taipei’s Gongguan neighborhood, near National Taiwan University, might have been startled to stumble on a street-side drag show in full swing, aswirl with all the fabulous frocks and stellar talents of some of the city’s better-known drag ...

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BODHISATTVA INCARNATE

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pp. 29-50

Chu T’ien-wen (b. 1956) is a prolific and critically acclaimed novelist, essayist, and screenwriter. Her Notes of a Desolate Man (1994) won the prestigious China Times Novel Prize and was later translated into English by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Li. She wrote the screenplay for City of Sadness (1989), perhaps the best-known film of one of Taiwan’s most eminent ...

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PLATONIC HAIR

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pp. 51-74

This is the first overtly lesbian-themed story by Qiu Miaojin (1969–1995), a writer who, apart from the accolades she won from Taiwan’s literary establishment, is also celebrated in local lesbian subcultures as the island’s best-known lesbian author. Qiu’s most influential works are her novels, The Crocodile’s Journal (1994) and the semiautobiographical Montmartre Testament ...

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A STORY OF SPRING BUTTERFLIES

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pp. 75-94

Chu T’ien-hsin (b. 1958) is a critically acclaimed author whose literary prizes include several China Times literature prizes and the United Daily News Novel Prize. Her sensitive and lively writings on the relationships between friends in girls’ schools have been read devotedly by a generation of lesbian readers.The Pushpin Song: Notes from Three Years at Taipei First Girls’ School (1984) and ...

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STONES ON THE SHORE

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pp. 95-126

Hsu Yoshen (b. 1961) is a prolific popular gay writer and was a key figure in Taiwan’s 1990s gay cultural scene. He has published numerous books of gay-themed fiction and essays and has been prominent in Taiwan’s local print media and broadcasting industries. He came out publicly with an open wedding to his Uruguayan partner, Gray Harriman, in Taipei in 1996. This ...

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THE BOY IN THE PINK ORCHID TREE

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pp. 127-154

Lin Yuyi (b. 1963) is the author of three short-story collections to date, I Love Eileen Chang (1992), from which this story is taken, Love Life (1992), and Stars Singing on the Mountain (1998). All of Lin’s collections contain pieces with themes of same-gender eroticism, and his gay coming-of-age narratives, infused with a wistful nostalgia for central and southern Taiwan in the 1970s, ...

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WHO IS SINGING?

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pp. 155-166

Lin Chun Ying (b. 1960) is the author of four collections of short stories, many of which touch upon gay themes. His most recent collections, Burning Genesis (1997) and The Five Debilities of the Lover (2000), are the most explicit in this regard. Like Lin Yuyi’s writing, Lin Chun Ying’s fiction frequently deals with queer adolescence. Lin Chun Ying received his master’s degree in jour-...

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SEARCHING FOR THE LOST WINGS OF THE ANGEL

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pp. 167-188

Chen Xue (b. 1970) is a member of the new generation of queer writers, and her candid writings about women’s sexuality have by turns shocked and fascinated Taiwan’s literary establishment and reading public. Chen is the author of three story collections and one novel, all of which deal with such subjects as lesbian desire, bisexuality, and incest with an honesty and direct-...

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POEM FROM THE GLASS WOMB

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pp. 189-212

Taiwan’s premier writer of queer gothic and vampire fiction, Hong Ling (b.1971), also known as Lucifer Hung, is a key member of the new generation of lesbian and gay authors. She holds a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Sussex, and her prolific output from the mid-1990s includes seven novels, five collections of critical and theoretical essays, and ...

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A STRANGER’S ID

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pp. 213-220

Chi Tawei (b. 1972) was one of the most prominent figures on Taipei’s young queer literary and cultural scene in the 1990s. A graduate of National Taiwan University, he is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in comparative literature at UCLA. In addition to being a prolific and critically acclaimed author in Taipei, Chi was a regular contributor to discussions ...

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ROSE IS THE PAST TENSE OF RISE

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pp. 221-246

Wu Jiwen (b. 1955) is a well-established author, scriptwriter, and translator. In addition to the novel from which this story is excerpted, his other major work of fiction is the 1996 novel Fin de Siècle Boylove Reader, which rewrites the mid–nineteenth century Chinese homoerotic text Precious Mirror for Ranking Flowers in a modern context. Taiwan-based critic Jian Jia-shin lists Wu’s ...

Chinese Titles

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p. 247-247

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About the Translator

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p. 248-248

Fran Martin spent a year and a half in Taipei in the mid-1990s researching Taiwanese queer fiction and culture. She is the author of Situating Sexualities: Queer Representation in Taiwanese Fiction, Film, and Public Culture (Hong Kong University Press, forthcoming 2003) and has published articles on Taiwan’s queer politics, literature, and film in journals including Positions, ...


E-ISBN-13: 9780824861469
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824826529

Publication Year: 2003

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Chinese fiction -- Taiwan.
  • Chinese fiction -- 20th century.
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