Featured Stories

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…

What ‘Bao’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Meant to Me

Traditional mama’s girls who need a support group, I am here for you. Contains tiny spoilers.  Anyone who's even vaguely heard of me knows that I'm a mama's girl. My life's work navigates a strange dichotomy between "hot pot of rice that don't need no side dish" and "most filial child #1." Like many of my Asian American friends, I am independent, opinionated, and strong-willed. But I have never believed that my life is wholly my own. So you understand why I might be frustrated by polarizing…

Passing on the Taiwanese Language: A Personal Account

I was born in the US and, like many second generation Taiwanese-Americans, I grew up speaking first Taiwanese (台語), and then English at home. I recall visiting Taiwan as a child and people finding it quite odd that my brother and I understood only Taiwanese—not Mandarin Chinese. Although my level of Taiwanese never reached beyond that of a kindergartner's, if I hear Taiwanese being spoken around me, I will always turn my head, unable to refrain from eavesdropping on the conversation. With…

Balancing the Trifecta: Growing up Taiwanese, Korean, and American

There are 27 picture frames on the wall next to our staircase, each chronicling flashes of the life I know. Pictures of my mom and dad on a vacation to Italy while they were dating, pictures of my brother and me in Mexico, pictures of my brother as a toddler in a pumpkin patch. Pictures of my grandpa’s 60th birthday party, of my parents playing golf with their friends, of my late grandfather with my cousins, of my brother and me sitting on a swing set in Korea. My parents immigrated to the…

Taiwanese American Film Festival in Seattle

TaiwaneseAmerican.org is proud to be a Bronze Sponsor of this film festival featuring 7 critically-acclaimed feature-length films; 5 inspiring shorts; 2 award-winning directors from Taiwan; AR/VR experience. The Seattle chapter of Taiwanese American Professionals (TAP) is proud to host the first Seattle Taiwanese American Film Festival on Friday June 29 - Sunday July 1, 2018, at University of Washington and SIFF Uptown Cinema. The first of its kind, the Seattle Taiwanese American Film Festival,…

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…

Memories of my Yaba Great Aunt

by James Y. Shih When I was 3, my ahgong (grandpa) brought me to Taiwan from California to visit our old family home in the historic town of Lukang (鹿港). The home was and still is a narrow, two story, brick and wood building off the main road. There, my great aunt, whom I affectionately called “yaba,” lived with my ahma (grandma). At that age, I didn’t know calling her just yaba (啞吧), which means “deaf mute”, was rude (it is). I thought it was her name. Those early memories…

Finding Meaning in Taiwanese America: An Open Letter

  Editor Note: Gloria Hu is a High School Program Director at TANG (Taiwanese American Next Generation). TANG is a four-day summer conference for Taiwanese Americans and their allies. In contemplating meaningful programming and our engagement with issues of identity formation and community-building, the author expresses the importance of Taiwanese heritage to her own convictions and hopes for the community. A Letter to My TANG High Schoolers To my beloved TANG campers, I am so lucky…

50 Books for Your Taiwanese American Library

During the second full week of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month each May, we proudly recognize and celebrate Taiwanese American Heritage Week! In the past decade, more than a handful of authors, writers, creatives, and poets have emerged to write the many stories of our patchwork community into being. Below, we have compiled a list of nearly 50 titles from this talented pool. Many of the authors themselves are Taiwanese Americans or have ties to Taiwan. Some of these books have Taiwanese…