Irene Hsiao, Joshua Samuel Brown, Ed Lin, and Shawna Yang Ryan, moderated by Cherilyn Parsons
Taiwan is a magical place at the heart of Asia. An island nation, it has famous night markets, adventurous terrain, hot spring resorts, a bamboo skyscraper—and one of the world's most beautiful bookstores. These four authors, of Taiwanese descent or writing about Taiwan, include two very different novelists, a photographer/poet, and one of Asia's best guidebook writers. They talk about how "place" becomes character in their writing. (And yes, they will take questions about travel tips.) (Late-breaking SURPRISE! Attend this session and enter a free drawing to win two round-trip air tickets from San Francisco to Taipei, courtesy of China Airlines!).
Joshua Samuel Brown
Joshua Samuel Brown found his literary muse in Taiwan, as evidenced by his first solo collection, "Vignettes of Taiwan," and his upcoming novel "Spinning Karma" (a Buddhist comedy in which Taiwan is a major character). Brown has authored or co-authored thirteen travel guides for Lonely Planet (including two on Taiwan) and is a regular contributor to its website and "Best in Travel" series. His illustrated book of short stories "How Not To Avoid Jet Lag & other tales of travel madness" is available as an e-book. When not writing, Brown leads custom tours in Taiwan and throughout the United States.
Irene Hsiao is a writer and dancer. Her book of photography and text, "Letter from Taipei, was published in 2014." Hsiao's essays and poems have appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, SF Weekly, KQED Arts, Bay Area Reporter, Newcity, Cambridge Quarterly, Victorian Poetry, Multi-Ethnic Literature of the US, Literary Imagination, Modern Philology, Word Riot, elimae, A Clean Well-Lighted Place, and Sweet, as well as in the book "Peter Pan In and Out of Time." She has been awarded the Louis Martz Prize by the William Carlos Williams Society and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. As a dancer she has appeared with many organizations, including Kinetech Arts, Winifred Haun & Dancers, Alma Esperanza Cunningham Movement, and Lenora Lee Dance, among others. A Regents’ Scholar at UC Berkeley, she earned a double B.A. in English and Molecular and Cell Biology and won the Chauncey Wetmore Wells Critical Essay Prize. She holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Chicago.
Ed Lin is a journalist and the author of several books, including the new "Ghost Month," as well as "Waylaid," his literary debut. He also authored the Robert Chow crime series, set in 1970s Manhattan Chinatown: "This Is a Bust," "Snakes Can’t Run," and "One Red Bastard." Lin, who is of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards. He lives in New York with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung.
Cherilyn Parsons is Founder of the Bay Area Book Festival
Shawna Yang Ryan
Shawna Yang Ryan, a former Fulbright scholar, is the author of the new novel "Green Island," her second, set in Taiwan. Ryan is a California-born Taiwanese-American. To write the novel, she performed extensive research while traveling in Taiwan and reviewing older archive material in print and online, stating in an interview with The New York Times: "I often thought of my research as similar to unraveling a sweater — I’d tug at one thread, and a whole sleeve would come undone — one interviewee would introduce me to another, who’d introduce me to another, and so on." Ryan teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her short fiction has appeared in ZYZZYVA, The Asian American Literary Review, Kartika Review, and Berkeley Fiction Review.