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Taiwanese Author Kevin Chen to join the 2023 PEN World Voices Festival in New York

  • Date:2023-05-03

Taipei Culture Center in New York and PEN America proudly invite renowned Taiwanese writer Kevin Chen (陳思宏) to talk about his novel Ghost Town (鬼地方), as part of the 2023 PEN World Voices Festival, taking place from May 10-May 13.

Kevin will also give author talks at the Museum of Chinese (May 12) and Queens Public Library-Flushing (May 15). 

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.

Welcome to register for the events online!

★Kevin Chen’s Author Events in New York

● PEN World Voices Festival-“Translation Slam”

Time: May 12 from 6pm ET

Venue: AIA Center for Architecture - Room 532 (536 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012)

This World Voices Festival event places different translations of the same texts side by side and invites authors, translators, and audience members to engage in a lively debate on how each version meets new creative challenges. This event will feature previously unpublished texts in Chinese and Spanish written by Kevin Chen and Maria Ampuero, and translations by Lin King, Stacy Mosher, Samantha Schnee, and D. P. Snyder. 

Reserve your free tickets here:

● MOCA TALKS: Writing on Queer Experiences with Kevin Chen and His Novel Ghost Town

Time: May 12 from 6-7 pm ET

Venue: Museum of Chinese in America (215 Centre St, New York, NY 10013)

Reserve your free tickets here:

● PEN World Voices Festival- “Spirited Away–Haunted Novels”

Time: May 12 from 9pm ET

Venue: Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003)

Join acclaimed writers Kevin Chen (Ghost Town), Namwali Serpell (The Furrows), Joseph Han (Nuclear Family), and Samanta Schweblin (Seven Empty Houses) for a special evening exploring the invisible forces, specters, and haunting memories that shape their fictional narratives. 

20% Discount Code: PARTNERDISC23

Grab your tickets($20) here:

● INDIE LIT FAIR-Reading featuring Kevin Chen’s Ghost Town

Time: May 13 from 12-1 pm ET

Venue: AIA Center for Architecture (536 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012)

Browse, buy, and bask in the breadth of independent literary publishing at the PEN World Voices Festival’s eighth annual Indie Lit Fair, co-hosted with The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses. 

Reserve your spot for free here:

● Meet Kevin Chen, Author Of "Ghost Town"

Time: May 15 from 4:30-5:30 pm ET

Venue: Queens Public Library-Flushing (41-17 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355)

Tickets: Free

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."