Interview with Joyce Bergvelt, Lord of Formosa

Editor's Note: When I call for diversity in Taiwanese American literature, or English-language works on Taiwan, I mean books like Lord of Formosa. Taiwan, originally an Austronesian island, is colonized land. The hallmark of great literature about Taiwan, then, is perhaps sensitivity to this fraught crystallization of elements,  the way they arrived together under fire and pressure, and the complex ways they coexist today. Among these waves of colonizers were Dutch settlers, whose little-known…

New on Netflix: A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities

An Interview with “A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities” actor Denny Huang When Denny Huang decided to move to Taipei in 2005 as a young adult, he had no idea what he was going to do. As a Taiwanese American born in Houston, he barely spoke Mandarin at the time, and when he started pursuing acting roles, he realized his American-accent would be an issue. To manage, as he was slowly building his film & TV career (with roles in TV dramas like “Bull Fighting” and “Across the Ocean to…

How our bodies domesticate/disaster: An Interview with Kristin Chang, Past Lives, Future Bodies

Reading Kristin Chang’s work revives all the little things we lose: our names for nation. Yeye and his ghosts. Papaya in Taiyu meaning wood/melon. She doesn’t tackle, but instead deftly burrows into bodies of queerness, identity, immigration, and colonialism, a laundry list of tropes Chang has somehow resurrected and dissected in new, astonishing ways. I know it’s selfish and absurd to suggest a book of this artistry might have been conceived just for me, but I swear I once begged the universe…

An Interview with Emily X.R. Pan, The Astonishing Color of After

Editor's Note: I'm so thrilled to share this interview with Emily X.R. Pan, author of The Astonishing Color of After. In the past decade - really, in my own little lifetime -  I have seen contemporary Asian American literature evolve from brittle myths of otherness to richer montages spanning history, identity, self, and heritage. Pan's The Astonishing Color of After is a pulsing tide of grief and wonder, chronicling half-Taiwanese protagonist Leigh's struggle to understand her mother's…

An Interview with Eva Lou, Madeleine Editions

Editor's Note: Something we consider often is how language informs how we define and experience an ethnic or national identity. We wonder about the merits of raising bilingual, or even trilingual, children, and whether our mother tongues will ever find a place in communities that do not recognize them. Our contributors have discussed loss and mourning of such languages, but also learning and discovery. With language as vehicles in mind, Taiwanese American writer Eva Lou launched Madeleine Editions,…

An Interview with Juliana and Wayne, Co-directors of the Piedmont Chamber Music Festival

Pianist Juliana Han and violinist Wayne Lee are the husband and wife co-directors of the Piedmont Chamber Music Festival in the Bay Area, California. Our editorial director Anna Wu caught up with them to chat about the festival, the Formosa Quartet, and their journeys as musicians. * * * Anna Wu: Hi Juliana and Wayne! Thanks for joining us today. Could you guys tell us a little bit about the Piedmont Chamber Music Festival? What inspired you to start it? Wayne Lee: The Piedmont Chamber…

An Interview with Cynthia Cheng, the Co-Organizer of Family Style Zine: An AAPI Food Anthology

  Our own Andrea “Chuey” Chu, co-editor of TaiwaneseAmerican.org and Chrysanthemum: Voices of the Taiwanese Diaspora, interviews Cynthia Cheng, co-organizer of Family Style Zine and contributor for Chrysanthemum. Family Style Zine: An AAPI Food Anthology is an anthology promoting education on the diverse histories of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) food. The zine features illustration and writings from 31 AAPI creators sharing the stories behind 20 dishes that shed light on the…

An Interview with Filmmaker Fiona Roan: Reflections on Sisterhood and Belonging

Fiona Feng-I Roan is a Taiwanese American writer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. TaiwaneseAmerican.org’s Ho Chie Tsai recently caught up with her to talk about her new short film, JIEJIE, which was recently selected as one of three finalists in the HBO Asian Pacific Visionary American short film competition. It will also be distributed nationally through HBO this May, during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. JIEJIE is a portrait of young sisters being raised by a single immigrant…

The Life Story: An Interview with Author Julia Lin

We recently came across Taiwanese Canadian author Julia Lin’s recently published book, Shadows of the Crimson Sun: One Man’s Life in Manchuria, Taiwan, and North America. This biography of Dr. Charles Yang, a community leader and activist living in Vancouver, Canada, caught our attention because of the unique formative experiences that shaped his perspectives and life of activism. At the same time, his story echoed many of the experiences of the first generation Taiwanese who immigrated throughout…

Chris Pang: Upcoming Crazy Rich Asian and Certified Haiku Hottie

When actor Chris Pang was a kid growing up in Melbourne, Australia, he remembers he and his mother would act out wuxia stories in their backyard. His mom would be the Grandmaster, and he would be her student, but inevitably then the bad guys would poison the Grandmaster, and he'd have to fight to avenge her. "I loved that," he says. "That's probably how I learned how to tell stories, not just on the page but through action and role-play." Pang, who will soon be seen in the highly-anticipated…