'Farewell' wins Grand Prize at Taiwan Literature Awards

10/28/2021 09:46 PM
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Chung Wen-yin. CNA file photo
Chung Wen-yin. CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 28 (CNA) Taiwanese writer Chung Wen-yin (鍾文音) won the Annual Golden Book Grand Prize at the 2021 Taiwan Literature Awards with her latest novel, "Farewell" (別送), according to an announcement by the National Museum of Taiwan Literature (NMTL) Thursday.

After two rounds of intensive reviews, "Farewell," published by RyeField Publishing Co. in 2021, was selected from a record 235 submissions this year, taking home NT$1 million (US$35,966.32) in prize money, NMTL said.

"Farewell," which is 688 pages in length, follows a woman's long journey to Tibet after a change in family circumstances. In the freezing air of the plateau, she explores enlightenment and ruminates on life in a temple, city, wilderness, and burial ground, according to the publisher.

The judges described "Farewell" as "a magnificent, 410,000-word send-off," lauding its dense writing and emotion.

However, although the topic is farewell, the story never truly lets go. The newly gained clear vision is yet another fall, and the literary sparks shine from the darkness, according to NMTL.

Seven Golden Book Award and three Flower Bud Award winners were also announced.

The seven Golden Book winners, who receive NT$150,000 each, include Hung Ai-chu (洪愛珠) for "Old-School Taipei Girl's Shopping List" (老派少女購物路線), her debut work about food and memory; Lo Chih-cheng (羅智成) for "Desolate Candy Store" (荒涼糖果店), a fantastical verse novel; and Chang Hsiao-hung (張小虹) for "The Wigs of Eileen Chang" (張愛玲的假髮), a prose-style academic research on Eileen Chang (張愛玲).

Other winners also include Ping Lu (平路) for "The Gaps" (間隙:寫給受折磨的你), an essay collection about illness and healing; Huang Chong-kai (黃崇凱) for "The Formosa Exchange" (新寶島), a novel that explores the history of Taiwan; Hsu Chen-fu (徐振輔) for "Taming Sheep" (馴羊記), a book that records his life and observations in Tibet; and Zhen Egoyan (伊格言) for "Zero Degrees of Separation" (零度分離), an apocalyptic sci-fi work on artificial intelligence.

Winners of the Flower Bud Award, which recognizes up-and-coming authors publishing for the first time and comes with a NT$150,000 prize, include Apyang Imiq (程廷) for "From a Tree Hollow" (我長在打開的樹洞), an essay collection that explores his Indigenous and queer identity; Chen Tsung-hui (陳宗暉) for "The Farthest Place I've Been" (我所去過最遠的地方), an essay collection that describes the author's illness; and Hsu's "Taming Sheep," which also won a Golden Book award.

The judges observed that the 10 winning works this year share a common theme, with authors reviewing their lives honestly and conversing with history and culture.

The awards ceremony will take place on Nov. 13 at the Hilton Taipei Sinban Hotel and will be livestreamed on the award's Facebook page. In addition, winning authors will share their writing experiences and reflections at four Golden Book Seminars, the details of which can be found on the NMTL website.

(By Ken Wang)

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