Ministry of Culture promoting Taiwanese literature worldwide

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The Ministry of Culture has been promoting the works of Taiwanese authors by featuring them on its "Books from Taiwan" platform and licensing the translation and publishing rights so that they can reach a more international audience.

Taipei, March 24 (CNA) The Ministry of Culture has been promoting the works of Taiwanese authors by featuring them on its “Books from Taiwan” platform and licensing the translation and publishing rights so that they can reach a more international audience.

According to the ministry’s deputy chief, Ting Hsiao-ching (丁曉菁), the government has been developing different initiatives since the early 2010s to make a name for Taiwanese literary works on the international stage.

Since 2013, the Ministry of Culture has hosted an annual Taipei Rights Workshop that brings together publishers and agents from all over the world to Taiwan, presenting a chance for Taiwanese works to be discovered by foreign publishers.

It was during the 2015 workshop that Michael Heyward, publisher and chief executive officer of Australia’s Text Publishing, found out about Taiwanese author Wu Ming-Yi’s (吳明益) new book “The Stolen Bicycle” and proceeded to sign a deal to acquire its global English language rights.

The book is now a contender for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize 2018, the results of which will be announced on May 22.

The Stolen Bicycle, a novel written by Taiwanese writer Wu Ming-Yi (吳明益) and translated into English by Darryl Sterk, has been selected to contend for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for 2018. This is the first time a work by a Taiwanese writer has appeared on the list. (Image Taken from Facebook@吳明益)

The ministry subsequently started the “Books from Taiwan” periodical and online platform in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The platforms feature excerpts from select Taiwanese works of fiction and non-fiction that are translated into English.

The platform has allowed for Taiwanese literature, both classics and new, to find their way into a new market outside the Chinese-speaking community.

The ministry also provides subsidies, which totaled NT$4.5 million (US$153,978) in 2017, for the translation and publishing of such works so that Taiwanese books will become a recognizable brand in the global market, Ting said.

(By Lo Yuan-shao and Kuan-lin Liu)