2022 Taipei International Book Exhibition Grand Prize Fiction Award

Judges for the 15th Annual 2022 Taipei International Book Exhibition Grand Prize Fiction Award. From left to right: Tsung-wei Wang, Kuo-wei Chen, Yu-Hsun Chu, Sok Fong Ho, and Chia-Hsien Yang

Judge Introduction

Chia-Hsien Yang (Associate Professor of the Chinese Department at National Tsing Hua University, Author)

Tsung-wei Wang (Novelist)
Yu-Hsun Chu (Author)
Kuo-wei Chen (Director of the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Literature and Transnational Cultural Studies at National Chung Hsing University)
Sok Fong Ho (Assistant Professor of the Graduate Institute of Transdisciplinary Study on Creative Writing and Literature at Taipei National University of the Arts)

General Comments:

This year, Malaysian novelist Ho Sok-fong was invited to be a judge of the Taipei International Book Exhibition Grand Prize in the fiction category, and is the first-ever foreign judge. The panel of judges—Chen Guo-wei, Wang Cong-wei, Zhu You-xun, Ho Sok-fong, and Yang Jiaxian—are a blend of scholars, critics, novelists, and editors-in-chief of literary publications, with differing yet complementary visions and tastes. They convened to decide on which authors to put on this year’s shortlist, as well as the winner of the Taipei International Book Exhibition Grand Prize. During the judging process, the lively discussions had multiple focuses, such as the logical extension of novels, the depth of characterization, the positive and negative aspects of female consciousness, and the role that minor literature should play.

The ten shortlisted works are: Egoyan Zheng’s “Zero Degrees of Separation,” Xiao Xiang-shen’s “Devil’s Son,” Chen Xue’s “Dear Accomplice,” Zhong Wen-yin’s “Farewell,” Huang Chong-kai’s “New Treasure Island,” Chen Xin-jie’s “Wood-colored Cat, Dream Pontoon, and Druid,” Deng Guan-jie’s “Story of Ruins,” Pan Guo-ling’s “Leave,” Gan Yao-ming’s “Becoming Bunun,” Xu Shun-qiang’s “Skin Deep.” Authors of different generations and genders are included from Taiwan, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, which shows that Taiwan still plays a special role in the Chinese language publishing market. The seriousness and type of genre are strictly divided, but subject matter is all-encompassing. For example, Huang Chong-kai boldy imagined a big exchange between Taiwan and Cuba. Xiao Xiang-shen borrowed fantasy novel logic in moving people from Taiwan to Okinawa. Zhong Wen-yin meticulously and profoundly portrayed the daily life of women’s bodies and disease. Gan Yao-ming utilized a small historical theme to develop the idea of the entanglement between gender, growth, race, and human nature, showing his extraordinary skill as a novelist.

The Taipei International Book Exhibition Award Grand Prize has long held an iconic position among Taiwan’s book awards. On one hand, it aims to reflect the richness of Taiwan’s creation and publishing of the past year. On the other hand, in line with the promotion and media characteristics of Taipei International Book Exhibition, it also aims to present a selection of books that are both artistic and readable, with local characteristics and diverse imaginations. This year’s shortlist fully demonstrates the above characteristics.

《Becoming Bunun》

Publisher:Aquarius Publishing Co., Ltd.

Book Introduction

It is the first moving novel in Taiwan’s literary circles that is based on the historical facts of the 1945 Sancha Mountain Incident. There are no heroes in this world, only people who regain their dignity. It is a book of regrets, confession, and absolution; a fiery love that has been sealed and turned to ashes and no one knows about. It is a book about a thrilling mountain rescue: an arduous task of fighting against the sky, the earth, and time. At an altitude of more than 3,000 meters in the treacherous high mountains, typhoons raged, hail rained down from the sky, hypothermia drove people to the brink of insanity, the rescue team’s life was hanging by a thread, and everyone was slowly giving into their animal nature. Harumute was the only rescue team survivor. He experienced a vortex of desire and inner entanglement. When he returned from hell on earth, he carried many ghosts with him. What he ultimately brought back was a person’s value.


Kan Yao-Ming

Rights Contact:Juliette TING
W x H cm/pages/price:14.8 x 20.8 cm/336/NT$380

《Zero Degrees of Separation》

Publisher:Division of Cite Publishing Ltd.

Book Introduction

“Zero Degrees of Separation” explores the implantation of “pseudo-neural organisms” into the human body to change behavior patterns and the investigation of love-related thoughts as the two major axes, describing how to dissect the falsehood of self and existence in the human (or non-human, other species, and AI) exposure to the flood of time. The entire novel is gentle and charming, but also deeply desolate. It features a fictional future author named Adelia Seyfried. She selected topics, conducted in-depth investigations and interviews, and wrote six in-depth reports which were included in an interview titled “Zero Degrees of Separation.” The book not only includes a fictional recommendation from future celebrities in the introduction, but also a fictional postscript, and a dialogue between the fictional author and other people of the future. The book’s format is extremely unique.


Egoyan Zheng

Rights Contact:Vicky Wu
W x H cm/pages/price:14.8 x 21 cm/688/NT$420

《Dear Accomplice》

Publisher:Mirror Fiction Inc.

Book Introduction

When some you love is doing terribly wrong, are you willing to become an accomplice?
I feel sad but also gratified. In this world, there is someone who are willing to accompany me into hell,
Hell has become a place where we can meet each other again…

In a luxurious mansion, or in an orphanage near a mountain, two similar dark nights after so many years,
How did the two “homes” change?

A mansion “white building”, but there is black suffering?
Zhang Zhendong, the son of a well-known company and restaurant owner, is kidnapped. Female criminal policewoman Zhou Xiaoyong must solve the case as soon as possible and save the hostages. Following the investigation, she found that the “White House” hides many secrets: suspicious corporate competitors, suspicious behavior of restaurant partners, Zhang family brothers fighting each other over property rights, servants with their own concerns, Zhang Zhendong’s wife Cui Muyun looking uneasy…

An orphanage at the foot of a mountain is the key to solving the case?
During Zhou Xiaoyong’s search for evidence, she discovered that a child abuse case many years ago was related to Zhang Zhendong’s kidnapping case. However, when the evidence came together, Zhou Xiaoyong was unable to break through everyone’s defenses, nor could she convince her own. Problems came one after another, and Zhou Xiaoyong could only rely on intuition and dreams to explore the context of the case.

When a criminal police solve this case by dreaming, facing a group of accomplices who are looking for light in a nightmare,
Why are crime and punishment in front of us, but we still secretly hope that they are not guilty?


Chen Xue

Rights Contact:Liu Pu
W x H cm/pages/price:14.8 x 21 cm/320/NT$420

《Wood Colored Cat, Dream Pontoon and Druid》

Publisher:Chi Ming Publishing Company

Book Introduction

This book uses video game elements in portrayal of the inner spiritual world of modern people which has been invaded by the language of video games, and is about the relationships in various addicted and lost modern human lives. The author uses a delicate writing style to swallow up the nutrients of everything in the daily life environment and then spit them out, proving that we once lived like that, and in those lives we have also worked hard to find an honest outlet for ourselves. Chen Xin-jie was born into a family that operated video game arcades. He grew up surrounded by game consoles, game music, and the cheers of gamers. A daily life filled with video game fantasy became the source of his exploration of life and creation. He is known as a video game novelist. This book intertwines fiction and reality in daily life and the world of video games through six explorative perspectives: a cat, a baby, a road, a city, a white cloud, and a wandering situation. Click on a path to enter a story, and let love and desire carry us along.


Chen Hsin Chieh

Rights Contact:Sheng-Hsiu Lin(Publishing Director)
W x H cm/pages/price:14.8 x 21 cm/224/NT$350

《Skin Deep》

Publisher:Gaea Books

Book Introduction

Can you weaponize perception, or even consciousness? Snow Crash meets Ex Machina in Isaac Hsu’s sci-fi thriller about our precarious grip on reality and the danger of corporate greed in a world in which your own face has a price on it.

Z-Yee is the only person left in the city still wearing his own skin: bionic implants called “liveskin” have given everyone else with money the opportunity to change their appearance and maximize their beauty. Maybe that’s why Z-Yee has made himself an expert in building artificial intelligences for virtual reality. But things become extremely dangerous once he learns that his very own virtual AI project – with whom he’s falling in love – has been given an assignment still a secret even to him.

Things continue to get worse from there. Z-Yee finds he’s being surveilled – or scouted – while at work, and when he’s made the target in an attack on his company’s premises, he only narrowly escapes with his life. Meanwhile, an upcoming visit by the President himself reveals multiple conspiracies afoot, at least one of which makes use of G-Na, the beautiful AI Z-Yee has constructed who still doesn’t know herself is artificial.


Isaac Hsu


Blaze Wu

Rights Contact:Yuju Shen
W x H cm/pages/price:14.5 x 20 cm/305/NT$299

《The Formosa Exchange》

Publisher:SpringHill Publishing

Book Introduction
On the 20th of May, 2024, one day after the inauguration of Taiwan’s first Indigenous President, the entire population of the island wakes up to discover they have suddenly switched places with the residents of Cuba. Two multi-ethnic island communities with both colonial and Indigenous histories suddenly find themselves facing baffling new questions, as well as the greedy stare of a new “mainland” hegemon.

Huang Chong Kai’s astonishing work of magical realism opens new conversations on race, marginality, and the (re)telling of history by weaving multiple voices and genres into a single work. We experience the miraculous switch through the eyes of Taiwan’s first Indigenous President, a Cuban painter, a Han Taiwanese who wants to be Indigenous, and a former inmate of Guantanamo Bay. The author transforms these stories into a narrative ecosystem by presenting them through a variety of different media styles, including book reviews, podcast transcripts, and interviews.

With its multitude of voices and narrative formats, The Formosa Exchange isn’t just a story, it’s an event – think Gabriel Garcia Marquez told with the historical commitment of Michael Herr’s Dispatches. It also offers extremely trenchant commentary on social constructions of race, multiculturalism, and political marginality.

Huang Chong Kai

Rights Contact:Patience Chuang
W x H cm/pages/price:14.8 x 21 cm/352/NT$420


Publisher:Linking Publishing Company

Book Introduction

This book depicts the on-and-off relationships among people in life, glimpse of the light of heaven, and immersion in the darkness of the abyss.
Guoling Pan, a novelist from Hong Kong, published his painstaking work “Departure”, which spans a period of over 10 years and represents a postscript of “Iron Island” engraved in writing.
“Over the 10-plus years these stories span, I have described the on-and-off relationships among people in life, glimpse of the light of heaven, and immersion in the darkness of the abyss. People used to call me the ageless Peter Pan. But inevitably, from a lad who always sings out loud under the bright moon, I have gradually grown to become a silent and dull middle-aged man. Although these stories do not involve the author himself, readers can still see some traces of life succession of the author in the stories,” said Guoling Pan.
“Departure” includes over 10 stories that cover a span from 2007 to 2020. During this period, a lot of changes occurred in Hong Kong society. In the atmosphere at the time, some specific social events occurred, including the Umbrella Movement and Post-Umbrella circumstances. Apart from elements such as people, the city, and the era, Guoling Pan always attaches great importance to the personal or private side in his stories. Novels are always tightly woven with factual vs fictional and individual vs collective plots. Drifting along with these plots, the author explores the possibility of creative practices and reflects the truth of existence.
Guoling Pan’s works include a range of themes, from fantasy, documentary, history, and love story to local history, absurdity, black humor, philosophy, and so on. In some stories in the book, there are veiled shadows of spirits & demons, double image & doppelganger, and remains here and there. Not so much it being inevitable in this era as the author’s observation on yin and yang aspects of the world and a call from the deep soul of the author himself.
Representing both maternal and personal feelings, and containing both the social hostel and disintegration of emotions, “Departure” makes readers ponder carefully and gain their own experience while reading.


Guoling Pan

Rights Contact:Sonia Wang
W x H cm/pages/price:14.8 x 21 cm/256/NT$350

《The Stories of My Wonderwall》

Publisher:Grand Four Happiness Publishing

Book Introduction

“Monster, writing machine, and some ruins.”

A young man from Rawang in Taiwan tries to describe the history of exile in a late-acquired mother tongue, inside a room as part of the rooftop additions. The entangled time sequence and characters breed languages and expressions, and they fill the voids that multiply and creep over the ruins.

They are the stories about the ruins; they are the ruins that shelter the stories.

“Mother gave me up so abruptly that she and her language don’t necessitate my understanding. I’ll find a new language and leave my family to move on with my life, just like Father.” — from “Lin Yu-Tang’s Typewriter”

Nation, nationality, region, family, and individuality: Teng Kuan Kiat intends to solve these puzzles in his first short story collection to mark the end to his youthful days. “Childhood, the automated teller machine of a writer” — the one that Teng owns seems to have no credit limit. Unlimited plots and events scatter through these stories.

It’s about how gigantic amusement facilities with grandiose narratives traveled from Europe to Southeast Asia and became children’s favorite things (and grown-ups’ cash cow).

It’s about how a Godzilla in an enormous poster that stands on the slope awaits its cub to be born, and its glaring eyes that are shooting red flames turn the small town upside down.

It’s about how Lin Yu-Tang happens to visit Malaysia as one of the dazzling pieces of history, and his typewriter went out of order in the Ramington office.

It’s about how Grandfather on the maternal side smokes Taiwan-exclusive Ali Mountain cigarettes manufactured by a Chinese company and casually exhales surreal incidents back in Paris.

It’s about a mother that crawls out of a cave with her child and gets lost in the streets of Kuala Lumpur, a place where she used to work that is so close to the heart of the country.

It’s about a novelist who refuses to share his story to his old classmate, because he fears any manipulation and exposure but can’t help recalling the eternal taboo in the high school classroom.

Words, languages, and narratives are the elements that construct stories, and Teng keeps on digging these themes in The Stories of My Wonderwall. Behind these enchanting stories, the one that dedicates to escaping the ruins to enlighten us must be vigorous and dexterous in delivering what we should and would like to know.


Teng Kuan Kiat

Rights Contact:Belle Huang
W x H cm/pages/price:14.8 x 21 cm/304/NT$420


Publisher:Division of Cite Publishing Ltd.

Book Introduction

“Farewell” is a story about the meeting of an island’s plain and plateau, and it is also a story about the intertwined fate of three women: Jiamusa (Princess Wen-cheng), a mother, and Li Yan-er. Li Yan-er’s life journey has been about her mother from the beginning, and now, the issue of her mother can’t be dismissed, because she is waiting for their final farewell. After their farewell, she visited the world of the dead, and considered it the last time she will spend with her mother. “Farewell” is divided into three volumes: “The Mystery of Departing,” “The Mystery of Arrival,” and “The Mystery of Remaining.” Before and after her mother’s death, she came to Tibet for another look. On the surface, it appeared that her mother’s island life at the end was Yan-er waiting for her mother’s rebirth. But in actuality, she transcended her own habits and contamination of desires.


Chung wen yin

Rights Contact:Vicky Wu
W x H cm/pages/price:14.8 x 21 cm/368/NT$650

《Moo-Sin-A: A Big Guy Taken Away》

Publisher:Linking Publishing Company

Book Introduction

“Causing trouble beyond national boundaries is the true color of mischievous gremlins”
An incident involving a pilot who mysteriously disappeared in the cabin.
A rumor about an old woman went missing in the mountains in Nanfangao.
In the hometown of a schoolmate with Ryukyuan origin, family women who had survived World War II went missing one after another – seemingly having been taken away by a Moo-Sin-A.
Novelist Xiao Xiang Shen traces the footprints of mountain gremlins to get into the historically interwoven mirkwood of Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands.
“Moo-Sin-A” is a well-known gremlin haunting the mountains in Taiwan. “Kanzao” (meaning ‘to take away’) is a term commonly used in Taiwan to describe the situation that someone has been taken away by a Moo-Sin-A to an incredible place. Unconsciously, the lost person may find himself at a strange spot tens of miles away from his original place, or having climbed high up on a tree, passed a turbulent river, or been trapped in a thorny bamboo grove without knowing what had happened. In situations like this, people would say, “He has been taken away by a Moo-Sin-A”.
In order to investigate the missing incident of her junior collegemate Xinyao Chen, a pilot who mysteriously went missing during a flight mission, Xuefen Luo, a journalist, comes to the hometown of her old friend in Nanfangao, where she heard rumors about the disappearance of Xinyao Chen’s grandmother on his father’s side Qingzi Chenhuang and great grandmother on his mother’s side Yuchen Xiazi long time ago.
“Moo-Xin-A”, vividly described by the Hans, seemed to have picked on a cursed family. However, some women with Ryukyuan origin, who had survived World War II and been left behind in a fishing village, had other beliefs in their hearts. As Xuefen Luo goes deep into the family affaires of others, is her investigation approaching to the answer of the mystery? Or is it taken away to the mirkwood of history?
In the mystery stories on gremlins and spooks created by Xiao Xiang Shen, a national allegory is concealed: Are those variants of “Moo-Sin-A” rumored across the pacific islands a cross-border existence or simply a deep fear formed by identity boundaries?


Chuanqiao Luo
(Pen name: Xiao Xiang Shen )

Rights Contact:Sonia Wang
W x H cm/pages/price:14.8 x 21 cm/232/NT$280