Feature photo from the Office of the President
aka “Taiwan #1”
All year long, we enjoy showcasing the best and most promising of Taiwanese America (and Taiwan). It has been our proud mission to highlight the amazing stories and people of our community. During this most challenging year in the midst of a global pandemic, inspirational stories have kept our spirits up. Now, with the year’s end in sight, the annual superlatives lists have started popping up, and we’ve taken note. During the past couple of months, what started out as a simple list to remind ourselves what to share with you soon became a longer list of Top 10’s, Top 20’s, and Best of 2020 articles. It’s been a lovely thing seeing that so many mainstream sites and publications have been recognizing notables from our Taiwanese American community, too. So instead of creating our own list, we share with you some of the lists that have caught our attention. Take a look, click through, and share this list of lists with your friends and family!
We get a warm fuzzy feeling when our Taiwanese American author friends finally get the recognition they deserve. Still trying to figure out what to read when you hunker down during the winter season or what gift you’d like to send someone dear to your heart? Check out these works that have made some prominent lists:
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
- The New York Times’ The 25 Best Childrens Books of 2020
Bestiary by K-Ming Chang
- NBC News’ The 20 Best LGBTQ Books to Gift this Holiday Season
- Los Angeles Times’ The 20 Best Book Gifts
- The New York Times’ 12 new Books We Recommend This Week
- National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Honorees
Loveboat, Taipei –Audiobook by Abigail Hing Wen
- Cosmopolitan’s 25 Best Audiobooks of 2020
A quick shout-out to a Taiwanese Canadian counterpart recognized for her fine book:
Two Trees Make a Forest by Jessica J. Lee
- CBC News Network’s The Best Canadian Nonfiction of 2020
Are you less of a reader and more of a screen person? Well, we understand. Check out some of these memorable films by Taiwanese American and Taiwanese directors, which made some notable cuts.
TigerTail by Alan Yang
I Will Make You Mine by Lynn Chen
- Cinema Femme’s The 50 Best Films of 2020
A Sun by Chung Mong-hong
- Variety’s Year in Review: Best Films of 2020
IWeirDo by Liao Ming-yi
- London East Asia Film Festival’s Best Film Award 2020
Eat Drink Man Woman by Ang Lee (1994)
- The Atlantic’s 20 Movie Families to Spend Your Holidays With
And even more Taiwanese films from the 80’s and 90’s by the likes of Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Tsai Ming-liang, and Edward Yang:
- Far Out’s 10 Best Films of the Taiwanese New Wave
It says something when Taiwanese Americans venture into all corners of the entertainment media world. After all, increasing our representation starts with exploring our roots, original storytelling, and challenging stereotypes–from script to stage to spotlight. We’re super proud of the reach these creatives have extended.
Two Horny Goats podcast by Roxy Shih and Priscilla Liang (aka Priska)
- Asian Podcast Awards Finalists for Best Host of 2020
Chopin–a comedic screenplay–by Valiant Picture’s Vincent Lin
Jolin Tsai, Jay Chou, rock band Mayday, and actor Eddie Peng make this inaugural list of Asia’s digital media darlings:
- Forbes Asia’s 100 Digital Stars
FOOD & DRINK
Who doesn’t love some good food? Basically, Taiwanese food anywhere and everywhere makes our Taiwan #1 lists anytime. Although it may be a novelty to folks unfamiliar to our culture and influences, we’re pleased when we get some mention at all… even if it’s for a ramen list or some fusion recipe. If someone learns about Taiwan, we’ll still drink to that! Cheers!
Eric Sze and Andy Chuang–co-founders of 886 Restaurant in NYC
Mom’s Dry Dan Dan Noodle & A-Sha Braised Beef Noodle Soup–sometimes you gotta go ramen when there’s nothing else…
- The Ramen Rater’s Top 10 Instant Noodles of All Time, 2020 Edition
Taiwanese Beef Noodle-inspired French Onion Soup
- Bon Appetit’s 10 Most Popular Soup Recipes of 2020
- Food & Wine’s 10 Best Whiskies to Start Your Collection
JUST FOR FUN
2020 was also the Year of the Rat. And we sat at home a lot listening to music.
Taiwanese Illustrator An Chen’s animated New Year GIF
- Creative Boom’s 25 Best Illustration Projects of 2020
TAIWAN’S CHANGE MAKERS
Past and present, let’s not forget the influential Taiwanese who have helped shape Taiwan’s trajectory on the international stage. Moreover, during a year where democracy and freedom have come under scrutiny in light of a global pandemic, Taiwan definitely deserves accolades for the shining beacon and fine example it represents. We begin by paying respects to the father of Taiwan’s democracy who passed away in 2020–former president Lee Teng-hui.
President Lee Teng-hui (January 15, 1923 – July 30, 2020)
- Associated Press: Final Goodbye: Recalling Influential People Who Died in 2020
Huang Wei-xiang, CEO of Skills for U (nominated by the amazing digital minister of Taiwan, Audrey Tang)
Simon Lin, CEO of Wistron
President Tsai Ing-wen
- Bloomberg’s The Bloomberg 50 List
- Bloomberg: “Taiwan’s COVID Crusher”
- Financial Times’ 12 Most Influential Women in the World
- Forbes’ The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women
IN OUR EYES, TAIWAN IS #1
So, fine. For some reason, Taiwan came in at #3 on a list of COVID-resilient countries. But for those of us who have been following Taiwan’s successes and strategies under the leadership of President Tsai, former Vice-president Dr. Chen Chien-jen, and Taiwan’s CDC, we know that Taiwan is the only place in the world right now that is normal. And, their COVID stats are beyond admirable. But, keep at it. Be excellent, and more will continue to notice.
Well, that’s it for now–the best of “the bests.” Did we miss any lists that you’ve come across? Let us know! Hopefully, we’ll see more friends and folks whom we’ve come to admire over the years. We know in time even more Taiwanese and Taiwanese Americans will continue being applauded on mainstream lists in acknowledgement of their work and impact.
See you on the other side in 2021!