Thanks for coming along for the ride with my Taiwanese American Heritage Week interviews of 2023. I almost didn’t do it this year because I anticipated being extremely busy with grad school, given that it was my final semester and I had a heavy courseload. However, I was determined to keep the series going for its sixth iteration, so I gritted my teeth and took on the challenge despite the stress it placed on me juggling blogging work with school and freelance commissions. My commencement ceremony happened to coincide with TAHW this year, so I was putting together interview posts while getting ready to graduate.
This is the second year I’ve interviewed this many authors for TAHW, and in fact, there were other authors I could have interviewed. However, due to limited time on my end, I kept it to eight authors and prioritized folks who were debuts or had not been previously interviewed within the past year or two. Some books and authors I found out about when it was too late to include them in the interview series for May, though a few might still make a guest appearance on my blog in the future👀. With that in mind, I’m sharing some more Taiwanese-authored books from 2023 that didn’t get featured in this week’s interviews.
Disclaimer: This list is far from exhaustive; it’s just what is on my radar, which is biased by my immersion in children’s literature spaces. If you know of any more, please feel free to reach out and let me know.
Note: For books that are collaborations wherein not all the co-creators are Taiwanese, I have underlined the names of the creators who are Taiwanese.
Chloe’s Lunar New Year by Lily LaMotte, illustrated by Michelle Lee
It’s almost Lunar New Year, and Chloe can’t wait to celebrate! But first, Chloe and her family must prepare for the new year. They buy new shoes, lay out good-luck oranges in a bowl, decorate the red envelope, and make a crispy turnip cake. Everyone comes together to cook a fantastic feast, saving a plate for A-má, of course. Chloe enjoys the festive celebration and yummy food, but most of all, she loves spending time with her family.
Lily LaMotte and Michelle Lee have created a tender, warm, and uplifting holiday story about tradition and the importance of being with those you love.
The backmatter contains educational facts about the Lunar New Year celebration in Taiwan and a fun recipe for a yummy fortune cake!
- Add Chloe’s Lunar New Year on Goodreads.
- Purchase Chloe’s Lunar New Year.
- Visit Lily LaMotte’s author website.
- Read my interview with Lily LaMotte from 2021.
- You can contact Imprint Bookstore at email@example.com to purchase signed copies of Lily’s books.
Once Upon a Book by Grace Lin and Kate Messner
Once upon a time, there was a girl. She went to a place alive with colors, where even the morning dew was warm.
Alice loves to imagine herself in the magical pages of her favorite book. So when it flaps its pages and invites her in, she is swept away to a world of wonder and adventure, riding camels in the desert, swimming under the sea with colorful fish, floating in outer space, and more! But when her imaginative journey comes to an end, she yearns for the place she loves best of all.
Paired with vibrant illustrations, this lyrical, expressive story invites the reader to savor each page and indulge in the power of imagination.
- Add Once Upon a Book on Goodreads.
- Purchase Once Upon a Book.
- Visit Grace Lin’s author website.
- Read my interview with Grace Lin from 2020.
- You can contact High Five Books about purchasing signed and personalized copies.
Night Market Rescue by Charlotte Cheng, illustrated by Amber Ren
A stray dog stumbles upon the gift of friendship — and maybe even the promise of home — while wandering the delight-filled night market in Taipei.
While resting on a stoop, Gogo smells something sweet and spicy on the breeze. It leads him to a place he’s never been—a bustling night market where vendors sell delicious treats. As he wanders, sniffing for scraps, GoGo discovers something else as well: a little girl who has gotten separated from her parents. He knows he can help and guides her through the market . . . to where her worried parents wait for her—with open arms for their daughter and GoGo, their new pet!
- Add Night Market Rescue on Goodreads.
- Purchase Night Market Rescue.
- Visit Charlotte Cheng’s author website.
Sorry, Snail by Tracy Subisak
This zany, charming story shows that sometimes we get mad and helps teach the importance of a real apology!
“Look at that slimy body.
That silly shell.
Those tentacle eyes!
I just can’t look at you anymore, snail.”
Ari is feeling angry. When she takes that anger out on an innocent snail, the snail demands an apology! Which Ari gives, half-heartedly. And that’s that. Until Ms. Snail and her friends appear in every corner of Ari’s life, determined to elicit the most genuine apology from an increasingly regretful girl.
- Add Sorry, Snail on Goodreads.
- Purchase Sorry, Snail.
- Visit Tracy Subisak’s website.
- Read my interview with Tracy Subisak from 2022.
Globetrots for Tots: TAIWAN by Maryann Chu and Red Peck
Calling all Globetrotting Tots!
From the tallest skyscraper in Taipei to the sun-kissed beaches of Kenting, join Mei Mei and Black Bear on an adventure to see the best Taiwan has to offer! ❤️
An English rhyming book with Chinese, Zhuyin, and Pinyin for dual language learning!
- Purchase Globetrots for Tots: TAIWAN.
- Visit Maryann Chu’s Our Little Mando website for bilingual Mandarin and English books.
- Visit Red Peck’s artist website.
How This Book Got Red by Margaret Chiu Greanias, illustrated by Melissa Iwai
None of the panda books are ever about red pandas!
Red is going to do something about that.
When Red discovers a new book about pandas, she can’t wait to read it! Except it’s about only one kind of panda, and red pandas are completely left out. Red never gets to read stories about pandas like herself! So she decides to take matters into her own paws and write her own book.
But sometimes Red wonders if the only kind of pandas the world sees are the black and white kind. What if nobody wants to read her book? Red must find the courage to finish her story.
Coming soon from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on October 1, 2023.
- Add How This Book Got Red on Goodreads.
- Pre-order How This Book Got Red via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Bookshop.org.
- Visit Margaret Chiu Greanias’ author website.
- Read my interview with Margaret Chiu Greanias from 2022.
Land of Broken Promises by Jane Kuo
Taiwanese immigrant Anna and her family make a shocking discovery that puts their American dreams at risk in this searing companion to In the Beautiful Country, which Gene Luen Yang called “vivid and hopeful.”
After a rocky first year, Anna’s family have settled into life in California—their small restaurant is even turning a profit. Then her parents make a shattering discovery: their visas have expired.
Anna’s world is quickly overwhelmed by unfamiliar words like “undocumented” and “inequality.” She longs to share the towering secret that looms over every aspect of her life with a friend, but her parents strictly forbid her from telling anyone.
As Anna grapples with the complexities of being undocumented, the strain that it places on her family, and the loneliness of keeping it all to herself, she has to wonder—if America is the promised land, why does everything she’s hoped for feel like a lie?
Perfect for fans of Kelly Yang, Reem Faruqi, and Jasmine Warga, this middle grade novel in verse, inspired by the author’s own experiences, focuses on themes of legal documentation, identity, and language’s ability to divide and unite.
Cover illustration by Julia S. Kuo.
Releasing June 6, 2023 from Quill Tree Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins.
- Add Land of Broken Promises on Goodreads.
- Pre-order Land of Broken Promises.
- Visit Jane Kuo’s author website.
- Read my interview with Jane Kuo about In the Beautiful Country from 2022.
Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends Behind Your Favorite Foods by Grace Lin
From fried dumplings to fortune cookies, here are the tales behind your favorite foods.
Do you know the stories behind delectable dishes–like the fun connection between scallion pancakes and pizza? Or how dumplings cured a village’s frostbitten ears? Or how wonton soup tells about the creation of the world?
Separated into courses like a Chinese menu, these tales–based in real history and folklore–are filled with squabbling dragons, magical fruits, and hungry monks. This book will bring you to far-off times and marvelous places, all while making your mouth water. And, along the way, you might just discover a deeper understanding of the resilience and triumph behind this food, and what makes it undeniably American.
With about 40 short stories (288 pages total) and in full color, this book is perfect for all middle grade students to read to themselves, for caregivers to read to young children and for adults to share with each other!
Releasing September 12, 2023 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
- Add Chinese Menu on Goodreads.
- Pre-order Chinese Menu.
- Visit Grace Lin’s website for information about Chinese Menu pre-order giveaways.
When You Wish Upon a Lantern by Gloria Chao
Acclaimed author Gloria Chao creates real-world magic in this luminous romance about teens who devote themselves to granting other people’s wishes but are too afraid to let themselves have their own hearts’ desires—each other.
Liya and Kai had been best friends since they were little kids, but all that changed when a humiliating incident sparked The Biggest Misunderstanding of All Time—and they haven’t spoken since.
Then Liya discovers her family’s wishing lantern store is struggling, and she decides to resume a tradition she had with her beloved late grandmother: secretly fulfilling the wishes people write on the lanterns they send into the sky. It may boost sales and save the store, but she can’t do it alone . . . and Kai is the only one who cares enough to help.
While working on their covert missions, Liya and Kai rekindle their friendship—and maybe more. But when their feuding families and changing futures threaten to tear them apart again, can they find a way to make their own wishes come true?
Cover illustration by Kat Tsai.
- Add When You Wish Upon a Lantern on Goodreads.
- Purchase When You Wish Upon a Lantern.
- Visit Gloria Chao’s author website.
- Read my interview with Gloria Chao from 2017.
- Read my interview with Gloria Chao from 2020.
Love & Resistance by Kara H.L. Chen
Moxie meets Mary H.K. Choi in this funny, whip-smart YA debut about love, resistance, and the enduring friendships that make it all worthwhile.
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Chang is at her fourth school in seven years. Her self-imposed solitude is lonely but safe. At Plainstown High, however, Olivia’s usual plan of anonymity fails when infamous it-girl Mitzi Clarke makes a pointed racist comment in class. Tired of ignoring things just to survive, Olivia defends herself.
And that is the end of her invisible life.
Soon, Olivia joins forces with the Nerd Net: a secret society that’s been thwarting Mitzi’s reign of terror for months. Together, they plan to unite the masses and create true change at school.
But in order to succeed, Olivia must do something even more terrifying than lead a movement: trust other people. She might even make true friends along the way . . . if Mitzi doesn’t destroy her first.
A cheeky, thought-provoking force of a book, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.
Cover illustration by Steffi Walthall.
Releasing July 4, 2023 from Quill Tree Books, and Imprint of HarperCollins.
- Add Love & Resistance on Goodreads.
- Pre-order Love & Resistance.
- Visit Kara H.L. Chen’s author website.
Clementine and Danny Save the World (and Each Other) by Livia Blackburne
Clementine Chan believes in the power of the written word. Under the pseudonym Hibiscus, she runs a popular blog reviewing tea shops and discussing larger issues within her Chinatown community. She has a loyal, kind following, save for this one sour grape named BobaBoy888.
Danny Mok is allergic to change, and the gentrification seeping into Chinatown breaks his heart. He channels his frustration into his internet alter ego, BobaBoy888, bickering with local blogger Hibiscus over all things Chinatown and tea.
When a major corporation reveals plans that threaten to shut down the Mok’s beloved tea shop, Clementine and Danny find themselves working together in real life to save this community they both love. But as they fall hard for this cause—and each other—they have no clue that their online personas have been fighting for years.
When the truth comes to light, can Danny and Clementine still find their happily-ever-after?
Cover illustration by Peijin Yang.
Releasing July 18, 2023 from Quill Tree Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins.
- Add Clementine and Danny Save the World (and Each Other) on Goodreads.
- Pre-order Clementine and Danny Save the World (and Each Other).
- Find out more about the Clementine and Danny Save the World (and Each Other) pre-order giveaway.
- Visit Livia Blackburne’s author website.
- Read my interview with Livia Blackburne from 2018.
- Read my interview with Livia Blackburne from 2021.
The Night Parade by Jami Nakamura Lin
In the groundbreaking tradition of In the Dream House and The Collected Schizophrenias, a gorgeously illustrated speculative memoir that draws upon the Japanese myth of the Hyakki Yagyo—the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons—to shift the cultural narrative around mental illness, grief, and remembrance.
Are these the only two stories? The one, where you defeat your monster, and the other, where you succumb to it?
Jami Nakamura Lin spent much of her life feeling monstrous for reasons outside of her control. As a young woman with undiagnosed bipolar disorder, much of her adolescence was marked by periods of extreme rage and an array of psychiatric treatments, and her relationships suffered as a result, especially as her father’s cancer grasped hold of their family.
As she grew older and learned to better manage her episodes, Lin became frustrated with the familiar pattern she found in mental illness and grief narratives, and their focus on recovery. She sought comfort in the stories she’d loved as a child—tales of ghostly creatures known to terrify in the night. Through the lens of the yokai and other figures from Japanese, Taiwanese, and Okinawan legend, she set out to interrogate the very notion of recovery and the myriad ways fear of difference shapes who we are as a people.
Featuring stunning illustrations by her sister, Cori Nakamura Lin, and divided into the four acts of a traditional Japanese narrative structure, The Night Parade is a genre-bending and deeply emotional memoir that mirrors the sensation of being caught between realms. Braiding her experience of mental illness, the death of her father, the grieving process, and other haunted topics with storytelling tradition, Jami Nakamura Lin shines a light into dark corners, driven by a question: How do we learn to live with the things that haunt us?
Cover illustration by Cori Nakamura Lin.
Releasing October 24, 2023 from Mariner Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins.
- Add The Night Parade on Goodreads.
- Pre-order The Night Parade.
- Visit Jami Nakamura Lin’s author website.
Win Son Presents a Taiwanese American Cookbook by Josh Ku and Trigg Brown with Cathy Erway
A modern, brashly flavorful guide to cooking Taiwanese-American food, from Brooklyn’s lauded Win Son, Win Son Bakery, and Cathy Erway, celebrated writer and expert on the cuisine
Josh Ku, born in Queens to parents from southern Taiwan, and Trigg Brown, a native Virginian whose mentor was a Taiwanese-American chef, forged a friendship over food—specifically, excellent tsang ying tou, or “flies’ head,” a dish of chopped budding chives kissed with pork fat. Their obsession with Taiwanese food and culture propelled them to open Win Son together in 2016. The East Williamsburg restaurant quickly established itself as a destination and often incurs long waits for their vibrant and flavorful Taiwanese-American cuisine.
Ku and Brown have teamed up with Cathy Erway, Taiwanese food expert and celebrated writer, to create this book which explores and celebrates the cuisine of Taiwan and its ever-simmering pot of creative influences. Told through the eyes, taste buds, travels, and busy lives of Ku, Brown, and Erway, this book brings the cuisine of this misunderstood island nation into the spotlight. With 100 creative, yet accessible recipes, this book will unravel the history of this diaspora cuisine. While featuring classic dishes and well-known favorites, this cookbook also stretches this cuisine’s definition, introducing new dishes with brazen twists that are fun, flavorful, and decidedly American-born in style.
- Add Win Son Presents a Taiwanese American Cookbook on Goodreads.
- Purchase Win Son Presents a Taiwanese American Cookbook.
- Visit the Win Son restaurant and bakery website.
- Visit Cathy Erway’s website.
Made in Taiwan: Recipes and Stories from the Island Nation by Clarissa Wei with Ivy Chen
An in-depth exploration of the vibrant food and culture of Taiwan, including never-before-seen exclusive recipes and gorgeous photography.
Taipei-based food journalist Clarissa Wei presents Made in Taiwan, a cookbook that celebrates the island nation’s unique culinary identity—despite a refusal by the Chinese government to recognize its sovereignty. The expansive book contains deeply researched essays and more than 100 recipes inspired by the people who live in Taiwan today.
For generations, Taiwanese cuisine has been miscategorized under the broad umbrella term of Chinese food. Backed with historical evidence and interviews, Wei makes a case for why Taiwanese food should get its own spotlight. Made in Taiwan includes classics like Peddler Noodles, Braised Minced Pork Belly, and Three-Cup Chicken, and features authentic, never-before-seen recipes and techniques like how to make stinky tofu from scratch and broth tips from an award-winning beef noodle soup master.
Made in Taiwan is an earnest reflection of what the food is like in modern-day Taiwan from the perspective of the people who have lived there for generations. It is the story of a proud nation—a self-sufficient collective of people who continue to forge on despite unprecedented ambiguity.
That’s all for now. Thanks again to everyone who has read my posts for this past week! Hope to see y’all again next time.