Essential Books for Taiwan Studies

The following are essential books for Taiwan Studies. The first three have just been published in the new Literature from Taiwan Series, in collaboration with the National Museum of Taiwan Literature and National Taiwan Normal University.

A Taiwanese Literature Reader

edited by Nikky Lin

Taiwanese Literature Reader Front Cover

According to Taiwanese writer and historian Ye Shitao (see next book), the development of Taiwanese literature during Japanese occupation can be divided into three stages: the “nascent period” (1920–1925), followed by the “mature period” (1926–1937), and finally the “war period” (1937–1945). The six stories in this collection are representative works from the mature period and the war period. Each story depicts different hardships and predicaments faced by Taiwan as a colony under Japanese rule, offering insight into how this part of Taiwan’s history continues to impact contemporary Taiwanese society. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

A History of Taiwan Literature

by Ye Shitao; translated by Christopher Lupke

Lupke Ye Shitao Front Cover

A History of Taiwan Literature by Ye Shitao, an important public intellectual in Taiwan, was published in the crucial watershed year of 1987 when the end of martial law on the island was signaled. This is arguably one of the most important intellectual works of literary history, made even more impressive by Ye’s inclusion of copious notes, including Japanese-language ones. In this translation, Christopher Lupke has painstakingly translated both Ye’s main text and notes, making this valuable resource available to English readers for the first time. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

The Soul of Jade Mountain

by Husluman Vava; translated by Terence Russell

Soul of Jade Mountain Front Cover

Ethnographic novels, such as The Soul of Jade Mountain (Yushan hun) by Bunun writer Husluman Vava (1958–2007), have been an important tool in the process of bringing the circumstances of Indigenous people to the attention of mainstream audiences. Vava’s novel The Soul of Jade Mountain won the 2007 Taiwan Literature Award for the best novel, and this is the first English translation of an ethnographic novel by a Taiwan Indigenous writer to be published by a North American publisher, marking an important step in bringing Indigenous Taiwan to international audiences. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

Contemporary Taiwanese Women Writers

edited by Jonathan Stalling, Lin Tai-man, and Yanwing Leung


With this first English-language anthology of contemporary Taiwanese women writers in decades, readers are finally provided with a window to the widest possible range of voices, styles, and textures of contemporary Taiwanese women writers. The quality and diversity of the stories in this anthology are representative of the work produced by the Taipei Chinese PEN, which curates, translates, and publishes the best Chinese Literature from Taiwan since its founding in 1972.  Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

The Sinophone Cinema of
Hou Hsiao-hsien

Christopher Lupke

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Christopher Lupke’s book is a comprehensive treatment of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s entire oeuvre, including The Assassin. Lupke was able to visit the set of The Assassin and includes rare photos of Hou on his film set. In addition to a detailed filmography and a substantial bibliography, the book also contains interviews with Hou Hsiao-hsien. This book is a must read for all interested in global cinema. It is valuable for those interested in the society and politics of postwar Taiwan and Sinophone culture in general. It will appeal to readers concerned with issues such as the representation of ethnicity, gender, political repression, and the tensions between cities and the countryside. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond

Chia-rong Wu

Supernatural Sinophone TaiwanWhile reexamining the cultural and political complexities of Sinophone Taiwan, this book recognizes the narrative of the strange as a widely adopted artistic form in highlighting Sinophone practices and experiences separated from the China-centric ideology. The study argues that the narratives of the strange in Sinophone Taiwan cross the boundaries between the living and the dead as well as the past and the present, in response to a pastiche of phantasm, Chinese diaspora, gender discourse, and transnational politics. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

Remapping the Contested Sinosphere

Chia-rong Wu

Wu Chia-rong Cover


Taiwan has long been regarded as a supplementary addition to its cultural Other: China, Japan, or imperial Western powers. To create a self-claimed subjectivity, Taiwan’s localist camp has been promoting the Taiwanese consciousness via political movements and literary writings in a century-long campaign. To examine the literary expressions of Taiwan through any singular conceptual lens, such as postcolonaility and transnationalism, would be far too limiting. As such, this book reconsiders both the (trans)localist agenda and the post-loyalist discourse in the contested Sinophone arena.

Locating Taiwan Cinema in the
Twenty-First Century

edited by Paul G. Pickowicz and Yingjin Zhang

Pickowicz-Zhang Front Cover


This book is a much-needed study that takes the study of Taiwan cinema out of the late-twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. This is the first book to take a multidisciplinary approach to an evaluation of recent Taiwan film. It features a team of cultural studies, social science, and history specialists who use differing film materials and methodologies to analyze the ways in which filmmakers deal with the evolution of Taiwan’s society, economy and culture in the new century. 

Cambria Cloud Women

Professors, make going remote easy by assigning this book for readings through the Cambria Book Cloud, which allows for affordable semester-long 24/7 access to multiple books (even the entire Cambria Sinophone World Series) anywhere through web browser. Students are able to read titles on their phone, tables, laptops, or desktops.

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