Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Faraway a Novel by Lo Yi-Chin. Translated by Jeremy Tiang

Today I'm showcasing Faraway, a novel by Taiwanese author Lo Yi-Chin, a Columbia University Press new release.

ISBN-13: 9780231193955
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 09-07-2021
Length: 328pp
Buy It: Publisher/Amazon/B&N/ IndieBound



In Taiwanese writer Lo Yi-Chin’s Faraway, a fictionalized version of the author finds himself stranded in mainland China attempting to bring his comatose father home. Lo’s father had fled decades ago, abandoning his first family to start a new life in Taiwan. After travel between the two countries becomes politically possible, he returns to visit the son he left behind, only to suffer a stroke. The middle-aged protagonist ventures to China, where he embarks on a protracted struggle with the byzantine hospital regulations while dealing with relatives he barely knows. Meanwhile, back in Taiwan, his wife is about to give birth to their second child. Isolated in a foreign country, Lo mulls over his life, dwelling on his difficult relationship with his father and how becoming a father himself has changed him.

Faraway is a powerful meditation on the nature of family and the many ways blood can both unite and divide us. Lo’s depiction of family dynamics and fraught politics contains a keen sense of irony and sensitivity to everyday absurdity. He offers a deft portrayal of the rift between China and Taiwan through an intimate view of a father-son relationship that bridges this divide. One of the most celebrated writers in Taiwan, Lo has been greatly influential throughout the Chinese-speaking world, but his work has not previously been translated into English. Jeremy Tiang’s translation captures Lo’s distinctive voice, mordant wit, and nuanced portrayal of Taiwanese culture.


Lo is a clever, resourceful writer. He finds humor in his [narrator's] struggles with mainland customs and red tape while tapping into a rich vein of memories and emotions stirred when history or crisis makes the challenges of family life even gnarlier. Thematically rich and intriguing.Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
Lo Yi-Chin is the most remarkable and creative writer Taiwan has produced in recent decades, and what's more, he is the most inventive writer in the entire Chinese-speaking world.David Der-wei Wang, author of Why Fiction Matters in Contemporary China
A poignant, beautiful work by an important author, Faraway: A Novel should be on every bookshelf. Jeremy Tiang's subtle and sensitive translation brings a level of transparency to the text that allows you to immerse fully in its world. The novel will resonate long after you’ve put it down.Ari Larissa Heinrich, translator of Qiu Miaojin’s Last Words from Montmartre and Chi Ta-wei’s The Membranes
As Lo Yi-Chin narrates and contemplates three generations of often strained relationships with places and people now and then, here and there, on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Jeremy Tiang makes a monumentally challenging task look easy in a translation that is accurate and affecting, on point and poignant.Darryl Sterk, translator of Wu Ming-Yi's The Stolen Bicycle

About the author:
Lo Yi-chin is an acclaimed Taiwanese writer, the recipient of numerous honors including the Hong Lou Meng Award and Taiwan Literary Award. His novels include Kuang Chaoren, Daughter, Western Xia Hotel, Surname of the Moon, and The Third Dancer.

About the translator: 
Jeremy Tiang has translated works by writers including Yeng Pway Ngon, Su Wei-Chen, Yan Ge, Zhang Yueran, Chan Ho-Kei, and Li Er. He is the author of the short story collection It Never Rains on National Day (2015) and the novel State of Emergency (2017).