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Taiwanese Author Kevin Chen to visit New York City for the 2023 Brooklyn Book Festival on October 1!

  • Date:2023-09-14


The Taipei Culture Center in New York is thrilled to share that Taiwanese author Kevin Chen (陳思宏) will be featured in the 2023 Brooklyn Book Festival’s (BKBF) flagship Festival Day and Literary Marketplace this fall. It marks the first time an  author from Taiwan has been invited to take part in the festival with a translated literary work.

The event will take place in Downtown Brooklyn on Sunday, October 1, where Kevin Chen will participate in a panel joined by Japan-based Korean author Yu Miri and Mexican author Gerardo Sámano Córdova. The three renowned writers will discuss the stories of their works, in which lives are marginalized by sexual orientation and class, and devastated by war and grief.

Chen’s award-winning novel Ghost Town, translated by Darryl Sterk, was published in the US by Europa Editions in October 2022. The novel has since attracted global attention, receiving critical acclaim from organizations such as The New York Times and Booklist. The novel was also selected by Library Journal in the category Best of World Literature in 2022, and it was longlisted for the 2023 PEN Translation Prize. Recently, in September 2023, the French version of the work hit the headline of the literature review by French newspaper Le Monde.

In collaboration with the four US offices of Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, Kevin Chen was invited to tour throughout North America to present his novel, Ghost Town. Since the novel’s release in 2022, he has been featured in over 30 literary events, spanning California, Texas, Michigan, New York City, Washington D.C. and Toronto, including major literary festivals such as the 2023 LA Times Festival of Books and PEN World Voices Festival. His events were well-received with strong turnouts at each location. Kevin Chen is currently participating in the well-known International Writing Program (IWP) in Iowa, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. 

Launched in 2006, BKBF is New York City’s largest free literary festival that connects readers with US and international authors and publishers over the course of a celebratory literary week. Its programs include city-wide Bookend events, the flagship Festival Day with 300 authors and a Literary Marketplace with 250 independent and major publishers, the BKBF Children’s Day that celebrates childhood reading, and Virtual Festival Day to include authors and audiences that cannot attend in person. The 2023 festival dates are September 24 to October 2.

2023 Brooklyn Book Festival Featuring Kevin Chen:

"Of Spirits and Monsters"

Sunday, October 1, 3:30pm EST

St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church (157 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201)

Panelists: Kevin Chen (Ghost Town), Yu Miri (The End of August), and Gerardo Sámano Córdova (Monstrilio)

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 numerous 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.

About Ghost Town

Despite appearing to be a fantastical tale, Ghost Town incorporates elements of Kevin Chen's real-life experiences. 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."