Mon, Aug 19, 2013 - Page 3 News List

FEATURE: US author probes ‘legacy’ of the 228 Incident in novel

FAMILY DRAMA:A Chinese-American has written a book on the 228 Incident and its effects that she hopes will educate readers about a key event in Taiwanese history

By Dan Bloom  /  Contributing reporter

“I myself hadn’t heard about 228 at all until my in-laws spoke to me about it,” Chow said. “When I did, I wondered in what ways this tragic event could have affected people and that was the spark for my novel.”

“Although inspired by the specific event of 228, I think my book speaks to the core of who we are as individuals — how we identify ourselves, and our sacrifices for our families. I hope that the pull of my book’s emotional storyline draws in interested readers.”

Chow said she hopes her novel will help readers in the US and other English-speaking countries “come away as better people in some way, if even just more aware of the world around them or more appreciative of family relationships.”

While there are no current plans to have her novel translated into Chinese or Japanese, Chow said she would like the book to be available in both languages.

“It would be great to have both these foreign languages represented. Much of China and Japan histories are intertwined with Taiwan,” she said.

However, Chow said she hopes her book will help Americans understand a tragic part of Taiwan’s history.

“228 is actually a series of events that culminated from an incident in Taiwan starting on Feb. 27, 1947,” she said. “It led to tens of thousands of innocent people dying, including the elite of the country’s citizens and even children. Sadly, the subject was taboo for many years, but has now been recognized in Taiwan through various museums and monuments.”

Chow, the mother of two young children, graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and society with a specialization in gerontology. She also received a masters in social work from the University of California, Los Angeles and is licensed as a clinical social worker.

“Our children are too young to be aware of the details of 228, of course, but we have explained some of the concepts of Taiwan’s history and I have no doubt that in the future they will learn further about the actual events,” she said. “I think those facts will help shape them to become more empathetic individuals.”

“Although the novel revolves around Taiwanese history and its culture, I think the family issues and emotions depicted are universal,” Chow added. “I hope that this story will touch readers and make them think about identity and their definition of family.”

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