I WROTE THIS BOOK JUST FOR YOU!-台美作家楊小娜談她的小說創作 Green Island(綠島) ◎2016 2-27

2016 2-27 台美作家楊小娜 Green Island

台美混血兒作家楊小娜在會中演講 :有關她的新書 Green Island, 楊小娜 眼中含涙對著400多名台灣鄉親說:。I WROTE THIS BOOK JUST FOR YOU! Jerome F. Keating Ph.D. This is a great presentation by the author of “Green Island” a book I reviewed last month.

台美混血兒作家楊小娜在會中演講 :有關她的新書 Green Island, 楊小娜 眼中含涙對著400多名台灣鄉親說:。I WROTE THIS BOOK JUST FOR YOU!

Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.:

This is a great presentation by the author of “Green Island” a book I reviewed last month. It is 42 minutes long, but well worth it from many angles; 1st about the background of 228; then on an author taking a needed 14 years to complete a story, then on how even in 2002 she found people still suffering from the KMT one-party state mentality; and ironically on a TV talk show last night, a New Party woman was still insisting that the suffering and deaths of 228 were made up by the Taiwanese. And finally the government will still not open up the secret files more than 70 years later. The shamelessness of the KMT never ends. The first couple minutes are in Mandarin, the rest in English.

Book review: Green Island

In her second novel, Shawna Yang Ryan looks at the development of Taiwanese identity since World War II through the lens of a family who lived through martial law and the White Terror

By Jerome Keating / Contributing reporter

Green Island by Shawna Yang Ryan.
Green Island is a novel about survival, growth and developing identity. It captures Taiwan at a specific period in its history, the post-World War II period of martial law and the White Terror imposed on the populace by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) after fleeing China in 1949. This period of suppression affected millions of Taiwanese families living in Taiwan as well as abroad. Few would be untouched but for those that survived a new identity began to crystallize.
The book’s title, Green Island, refers to the small island off the southeast coast of Taiwan, a place primarily used by the KMT as a prison for “political prisoners.” Thousands of Taiwanese were imprisoned there; today it is a monument to those times. However, green is also a color of hope and the title can metaphorically refer to Taiwan, the beautiful green island, which the Portuguese gave the name Formosa.
The story opens in Taipei on the infamous day of Feb. 28, 1947. Unaware of all that is developing outside, Li Min, the mother of the protagonist, has gone into labor. The protagonist, her fourth child, will be born just after midnight on March 1, 1947; unfortunately the family’s as well as the nation’s troubles have just begun. On March 14, 1947, the father Dr Tsai, a prominent doctor would disappear. His crime is that at a public meeting spoke out against the injustices going on. Thousands disappeared in that period but not that many returned alive.
Without a breadwinner, the family is forced to relocate to Taichung where Li Min’s parents live. Dr Tsai will eventually find them there after 11 years of imprisonment. However, their plight remains far from over. The family now enters the ensuing oppressive years of a society filled with suspicion, lies, betrayal and survival. A well-known Taiwanese saying of the time quotes Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石): it is “better to kill a hundred innocent men than let one guilty (Communist) go free.”

Green Island
By Shawna Yang Ryan
400 pages
Penguin Random House
Paperback: US

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