Jenna Tang - Fang Si-Chi's First Love Paradise

Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 6:00pm

Left Bank Books & Taipei Cultural Center (TCC) in New York presents Jenna Tang. Tang is the translator for Fang Si-Chi's First Love Paradise, one of the biggest books to come out of Taiwan in the last decade. Join us as Tang discuss the most influential book of Taiwan's #MeToo movement--a heartbreaking account of sexual violence and a remarkable reinvention of the trauma plot, turning the traditional Lolita narrative upside down as it explores women's vulnerability, victimization, and the lengths they will go to survive.

Tang will personalize and sign copies after the presentation! Personalized and signed copies will be available to be mailed anywhere in the country. For personalized copies, please order before noon on May 28th.

Tang will be in conversation with debut St. Louis author Kat Tang.

Join us at Left Bank Books
399 N Euclid Ave
St. Louis, MO 63108
Watch the livestream on Left Bank Books' YouTube Page
Please RSVP as space is limited


About the Speaker

Lin Yi-Han (1991-2017) was a Taiwanese writer. Fang Si-Chi's First Love Paradise was her first and only novel. It sold over a million copies globally, won prizes, including the Open Book Best Fiction Award and the Liang Yu-Sen Literary Award, and became a feminist manifesto across Asia. Lin Yi-Han also wrote for INK magazine and BuzzFeed.

Jenna Tang is a Taiwanese writer and a literary translator who translates between Chinese, French, Spanish, and English. She graduated from MFA in Fiction Creative Writing from The New School in New York City. Her translations and essays are published in The Paris Review, Restless Books, Latin American Literature Today, AAWW, McSweeney’s, Catapult, and elsewhere. Her interviews can be found at World Literature Today and Words Without Borders. She is currently based in Taiwan. She was 2021 Mentee at ALTA Emerging Translators Mentorship program with a focus on Taiwanese prose. She has translated Lin Yi-Han’s novel, Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise, forthcoming at HarperVia in May 21st, 2024.

To date, she has translated authors from Taiwan, México, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, and more. She is available for works including: medical and court interpretation (Chinese, Spanish, French to English), literary translation samples, subtitle translations, research projects, sensitivity reading, copyediting (Chinese & English), reader’s reports, teaching workshops, lectures, panels, proofreading, and event coordination.

Kat Tang is a graduate of Columbia’s MFA program where she taught as an Undergraduate Writing Fellow. Born in China, relocated to Japan, and raised in California, she is fascinated by how we make and fake human connection in a technologically evolving world. Her short stories and graphic narratives have appeared in Electric Literature, The Margins, Pigeon Pages, and elsewhere. She currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri.


About Fang Si-Chi's First Love Paradise

The most influential book of Taiwan's #MeToo movement--a heartbreaking account of sexual violence and a remarkable reinvention of the trauma plot, turning the traditional Lolita narrative upside down as it explores women's vulnerability, victimization, and the lengths they will go to survive.

Thirteen-year-old Fang Si-Chi lives with her family in an upscale apartment complex in Taiwan, a tightknit community of strict yet doting parents and privileged children raised to be ambitious, dutiful, and virtuous. She and her neighbor Liu Yi-Ting bond over their love of learning and books, devouring classic works--Proust, Gabriel García Márquez, the very best Chinese writers. Yet, it is their lack of real-world education that makes them true kindred spirits.

Si-Chi's innocence is irresistible to Lee Guo-hua, a revered cram literature teacher and serial predator who lives in her building. When he offers to tutor the academic-minded girls for free, their parents--unaware of Lee's true nature--happily accept. While Yi-Ting's studies with Lee are straightforward, Si-Chi learns about things no one teaches them in school--lessons about sex and love that will change the course of her life. Confused and uncertain, Si-Chi turns to her beloved books for guidance. But literature tells her nothing honest about rape or how to cope with the trauma of abuse. For her own salvation, the young girl begins to think of her personal hell as her "first love paradise," where the power of love, no matter how twisted, gives her the strength to survive.

One of the biggest books to come out of Taiwan in the last decade, Fang Si-Chi's First Love Paradise is a chilling tale of grooming and its lingering trauma, and the power structures that allow it to flourish. Insightful, unsettling, emotionally raw, it is a staggering work of literature that reverberates across cultures and forces us to confront painful truths about the vulnerability and strength of women and those who use and hurt them.

Translated from the Chinese by Jenna Tang


Review Quotes:

"Fang Si-Chi's First Love Paradise provides both a scathing account of the ways strong communities can simultaneously love and fail to protect their girls, and a tender portrayal of the ways girls learn to survive within these spaces. Lin Yi-Han's only novel is not merely about the psychological effects of grooming and abuse, but also the mysteries and peculiar powers of girlhood and female friendship. In Jenna Tang's precise and lyrical translation, each paragraph contains a jewel of language; I kept underlining passages that contained thoughts I'd had as a teenager that I've never seen rendered on the page before. In a time when still too few take girls seriously in both literature and life, this novel showcases how 'their excitement... was also tinged with desire; that this desire was actually despair.' I loved Fang Si-Chi's First Love Paradise and am thrilled English-speaking audiences can now access Lin Yi-Han's moving novel." -- Jami Nakamura Lin, author of The Night Parade

"Fang Si-Chi's First Love Paradise is a powerful and unflinchingly told story from the unforgettable voice of Lin Yi-Han. Deftly and sensitively translated by Jenna Tang, this book shatters the stifling silence that is so often forced on survivors. A searing exploration of the impact of abuse, this is a riveting account of resilience and the importance of language and narrative in shaping our understanding of violence and trauma." -- Gina Chung, author of Sea Change and Green Frog

"Fang Si-Chi's First Love Paradise is a harrowing portrait of sexual violence and its thunderous reverberations. Through Jenna Tang's incisive translation, the reader is brought along a heartbreaking and unflinching journey. A dark, vivid, and important read that stewarded the #MeToo movement in Taiwan." -- Crystal Hana Kim, author of If You Leave Me


About the Taipei Cultural Center in New York

The Taipei Cultural Center in New York (TCC), which was established as the first overseas office of Taiwan's Ministry of Culture in 1991, builds connections through arts and culture in New York and throughout North America. Each year, we reach out to art museums, theaters, performing arts centers, film cinemas, festivals, curators, and presenters in the US and Canada. We support international cultural exchanges, collaborations, and artistic events in order to introduce Taiwan's arts and culture to a broader audience.

The Cultural Center (known today as the Taipei Cultural Center in New York or TCC) was co-founded by the Council for Cultural Affairs, Government Information Office, and Ministry of Education in 1991. It ran the Taipei Gallery and Taipei Theater, which were located at 1121 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan. These venues served as platforms for showcasing Taiwanese culture. In 2002, the venues were closed due to a change in the Cultural Center’s mission. In October 2005, the center relocated to its current address at 1 East 42nd Street.

On May 20, 2012, the Council for Cultural Affairs was upgraded and renamed as the Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan). The Ministry has opened four branch offices: the TCC, Taiwan Academy of Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S., Taiwan Academy of TECO in Los Angeles, and Taiwan Academy of TECO in Houston.

In order to cope with the new trend of global cultural competition, the Taipei Cultural Center has adjusted its goals and mission to, using its office in New York as an outpost, promoting understanding of Taiwan’s culture and arts in North America continuously and systematically. By using culture and arts as communication channels, Taiwan is able to enhance mutual understanding and appreciation in culture and arts, as well as to strengthen the friendship with the United States and Canada.

To achieve the aforementioned goals and mission, the strategic plans of the Taipei Cultural Center are to cooperate with the important performance organizations in New York and North America, to invite Taiwan’s performance and visual arts groups or artists to New York and North America to perform, exhibit, or conduct artist residency, to actively participate in arts festivals of North America, to promote Taiwan’s artists onto international stages, and to increase international visibility of Taiwan’s culture and arts.

In addition, the Taipei Cultural Center will invite important performance agents and visual arts curators in North America to Taiwan to visit performance groups and artists in order to promote better understanding of Taiwan’s arts groups and artists. Moreover, in accordance with Taiwan’s artist residency programs in North America supported by the Ministry of Culture on Taiwan, the Taipei Culture Center will also provide assistance to resident artists to present their art achievements.

Event address: 
399 N. Euclid Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63108
Fang Si-Chi's First Love Paradise: A Novel By Yi-Han Lin, Jenna Tang (Translated by) Cover Image
By Yi-Han Lin, Jenna Tang (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780063319431
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: HarperVia - May 21st, 2024

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Five-Star Stranger: A  Novel By Kat Tang Cover Image
ISBN: 9781668050149
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Scribner - August 6th, 2024


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