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Taiwanese Author Kevin Chen to visit Michigan for Author Talks on May 6-7

  • Date:2023-04-29

Berlin-based Taiwanese author Kevin Chen (陳思宏) has been invited to tour throughout the US from April 21 to May 15 to present his best-selling novel, Ghost Town (鬼地方). During the tour, Kevin Chen will visit Michigan for the first time to give two author talks (one in Mandarin and the other in English) at the Ann Arbor District Library-Downtown on May 6-7.

Kevin Chen will introduce his novel Ghost Town by discussing the meanings of “ghost” and “ghost town” in different cultural contexts. Kevin will also explore the places he has visited, his life experiences in Taiwan and Europe, and other elements that serve as inspirations for the story. 

Ghost Town has received critical acclaim in 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 it was longlisted for the 2023 PEN Translation Prize.

Kevin Chen’s Author Talks in Ann Arbor, Michigan

May 6 from 5-6 pm ET

【In Mandarin】Ann Arbor District Library: Downtown, 4th Floor Meeting Room

Moderator: Dr. Tze-Lan Deborah Sang (桑梓蘭), Professor of Chinese Literature and Visual Studies, Michigan State University

May 7 from 3-4 pm ET

【In English】Ann Arbor District Library: Downtown, 4th Floor Meeting Room

Moderator: Dr. Ian Shin (冼健義), Assistant Professor of American History, The University of Michigan

*The events include a signing with books available for purchase.

*The events are supported by the Taipei Cultural Center in New York, the Michigan Taiwanese American Organization, and the Ann Arbor District Library.

About Kevin Chen

Kevin Chen was born in 1976 in the township of Yongjing (永靖), which is located in the central Taiwanese county of Changhua. He has worked as a journalist, interpreter, and actor, but his true passion has always been writing. 

After being accepted to Fu Jen Catholic University to study for a degree in English, Kevin Chen moved to Taipei. He published his first short story, The Generation of Blossoming Nails (指甲長花的世代), at the age of 26, and since then, he has continued to publish books such as Attitude (態度), Three Ways to Get Rid of Allergies (去過敏的三種方法), and The Ninth Body (第九個身體), all of which have been recognized with a number of literary awards.

In 1998, he headed to Germany, formally settling in Berlin in 2004. Later, he published best-sellers such as Rebellious Berlin (叛逆柏林) and Berlin Rebels On (柏林繼續叛逆). 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).

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."