Nominated writer objects to Man Booker listing of his nationality

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)

Taipei, March 29 (CNA) Famous Taiwanese writer Wu Ming-Yi (吳明益), whose book “The Stolen Bicycle” has been nominated for an international literary award, said Thursday that he objected to being listed as a national of “Taiwan, China” on the Man Booker Prize website.

Image taken from The Man Booker Prize official website

“Since the publication of the longlist for this year’s Man Booker International award, my nationality on the webpage has been changed from Taiwan to ‘Taiwan, China,’ which is not my personal position on this issue,” Wu wrote in a Facebook post.

Wu said he will be seeking assistance to express “my personal position to the award organization.”

His views were supported by his friends and fans online, as well as his editor at Rye Field Publishing Co., the company that published the original Chinese-language version of “The Stolen Bicycle.”

Image taken from Facebook@吳明益

The editor Lin Hsiu-mei (林秀梅) said Wu’s response to the name change was appropriate, and that political factors should not be influencing literature behind the scenes.

The Ministry of Culture also issued a statement Wednesday, saying that it will ask Taiwan’s representative office in the United Kingdom to express the country’s stance on the matter and ask that Man Booker Prize Foundation revert to its original listing of Wu’s nationality.

Taiwan is a sovereign country, which means that its people expect equal and dignified participation in international events, the ministry said.

Furthermore, it is the Taiwan’s government’s responsibility to make such participation possible, the ministry said.

On March 12, Wu wrote on his Facebook page that he was honored to be included on the longlist for the Man Booker International Prize and was particularly pleased to be listed as a national of “Taiwan.”

However, the designation was later changed on the Man Booker Prize website to “Taiwan, China.”

Wu’s book “The Stolen Bicycle” is about a writer who embarks on a quest in search of his missing father’s stolen bicycle.

It was translated into English by Darryl Sterk and published by Text Publishing and is the first book by a Taiwanese author to be nominated for the Man Booker International Prize.

A shortlist of six books will be announced on April 12, and the winner of the 2018 prize will be announced on May 22.

(By Kuan-lin Liu and Sabine Cheng)