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Taiwanese Illustrator Bei Lynn and Author Kevin Chen to be Featured at Toronto International Festival of Authors

  • Date:2023-08-29


With the support of the Taipei Cultural Center in New York, Taiwanese illustrator Bei Lynn (林小杯) and author Kevin Chen (陳思宏) will participate in the 2023 Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) from September 23-28. It marks the fifth time that Taiwanese authors have been invited to take part in the festival. In addition, Kevin Chen will give two special author talks on September 25 and 26 at the University of Toronto to discuss his well-received novel Ghost Town (鬼地方).

The English versions of Bei Lynn’s three picture books, Leilong’s Too Long! (騎著恐龍去上學), Leilong the Library Bus (騎著恐龍去圖書館), and Bibbit Jumps (步步蛙很愛跳), were released by New Zealand-based children’s book publisher Gecko Press. Thanks to Bei Lynn’s vibrant illustrations, children of all ages enjoy the adventures of her stories’ main characters, such as the enthusiastic and bumbling brontosaurus Leilong, and the little frog Bibbit, who is a jumping expert.

Kevin Chen’s award-winning novel Ghost Town was published in the U.S. by Europa Editions. Set against the backdrop of Chen's hometown of Yongjing, its protagonist, Keith Chen, returns from Germany, only to be confronted by the emotions and disputes of three generations of his family. The story switches constantly between mundane and ghostly perspectives, revealing layer by layer how love-hate relationships and the horror and ruthlessness of the times cause Yongjing to gradually descend into what the protagonist calls a "ghost town." Translated by Darryl Sterk, a Canadian translator based in Hong Kong, the novel received critical acclaim from organizations such as The New York Times and Booklist. The novel was also selected by Library Journal in the category of Best of World Literature 2022 and longlisted for the 2023 PEN Translation Prize.

At TIFA this year, illustrator Bei Lynn will take part in the TIFA Kids events by sharing her story Leilong’s Too Long! and leading a drawing workshop for kids to collectively create a brontosaurus-sized masterpiece. Meanwhile, author Kevin Chen will join a conversation with award-winning Canadian author Catherine Hernandez. The two acclaimed authors will explore themes of cultural identity, belonging, and desire for acceptance, all of which are at the center of their latest novels.

TIFA, which has been taking place annually in the fall since 1974, is Canada’s largest and longest-running literary festival, providing the world’s leading contemporary authors with an internationally recognized forum to present their work. TIFA 2023 will be held from September 21 to October 1 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, welcoming hundreds of authors from over 20 countries to participate in more than 200 events.

TIFA 2023 Events Featuring Bei Lynn and Kevin Chen

Storytelling: The Many Adventures of Leilong, with Bei Lynn

Saturday, September 23, 4:00-5:00 pm ET

Wordlab at Harbourfront Centre

Creating a Giant of a Picture with Bei Lynn

Sunday, September 24, 12:00-12:30 pm and 1:00-1:30 pm ET

Storydrop at Harbourfront Centre

Freedom to Read: Kevin Chen

Wednesday, September 27, 6:30-6:45 pm ET

West Bays at Harbourfront Centre

Conversation: Kevin Chen & Catherine Hernandez: Rise Up, Rise Up

Thursday, September 28, 6:00-7:00 pm ET

Brigantine Room at Harbourfront Centre

Kevin Chen’s Author Talks at the University of Toronto (U of T)

【In English】Department of East Asian Studies at U of T 

Monday, September 25, 4:00-6:00 pm ET

EAS Lounge - 14th Floor, Robarts Library Building (130 St George Street, Toronto)

【In Mandarin】Department of Language Studies at U of T Mississauga

Tuesday, September 26, 5:00-6:30 pm ET

About Bei Lynn

Bei Lynn is an award-winning illustrator who has written and illustrated more than 20 picture books, stories, magazines, and comics. Her works have been recognized with various awards and honors, including the Best Chinese Children’s Picture Book of the Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Book Award, South Korea’s Nami Concourse Distinction, Japan’s Sankei Children's Book Award, Germany’s White Raven 2022, and other awards in Taiwan. Bei Lynn loves to create stories that combine fantasy and life, and she also enjoys telling stories to children. Her works have been published in languages such as French, English, Korean, and Japanese.

About Kevin Chen

Kevin Chen started his career as a cinema and theater actor. Now based in Germany, he has published several novels, essays, and short story collections in Taiwan, many of which have been recognized with a number of literary awards. From 2019 through 2022, Chen published the long-form novels Ghost Town (鬼地方), Florida Metamorphosis (佛羅里達變形記), and Die guten Menschen von oben (樓上的好人). His first English publication Ghost Town, translated by Darryl Sterk, has attracted global attention. It will be translated into 11 languages in total.