Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

Taiwanese novelist Wu Ming-Yi, looking for a father and stolen bicycles

The novel [The Stolen Bicycle] shows us the talent but also the personality of the novelist: his obsession with ecology is obvious as his passion for bicycles; he even toured Taiwan on an old collector’s bike to promote his novel! A specialist of butterflies, the novelist evokes the industry around them and collages made with their wings.

His family is a central theme and there are many references to the Chunghua Shopping Center where the family worked and lived. Finally, as in other books, he immerses us into the history of Taiwan, Japanese colonization and aboriginals but underlines: “I did not write this novel out of nostalgia but out of respect for an era I did not experience."

Nevertheless, the unifying theme of the novel is the search for a lost father whom the narrator hopes to find by his bicycles which were stolen or lost or abandoned.

(The book is reviewed in both French and English)


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