The Ministry of Culture promotes translation of works by Taiwanese authors by featuring them on a “Books from Taiwan” platform, and licensing translation and publishing rights so that they can reach a more international audience.
The government has been developing different initiatives since the early 2010s to make a name for Taiwanese literary works on the international stage, Deputy Minister of Culture Ting Hsiao-ching (丁曉菁) said.
Since 2013, the ministry has hosted an annual Taipei Rights Workshop that invites publishers and agents from all over the world to visit Taiwan and discover Taiwanese works.
It was during the 2015 workshop that Michael Heyward, publisher and chief executive officer of Australia’s Text Publishing, found out about Taiwanese author Wu Ming-yi’s (吳明益) 2015 book The Stolen Bicycle (單車失竊記) and acquired its global English-language rights.
A translation of the book by Taiwan-based academic Darryl Sterk is now a contender for this year’s Man Booker International Prize, the winner of which is to be announced on May 22.
The ministry started the Books From Taiwan periodical and an online platform in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The platforms feature excerpts from select Taiwanese works of fiction and non-fiction that have been translated into English.
The platform has allowed for Taiwanese literature, classical and new, to find its way into a new market outside the Chinese-speaking community.
The ministry last year provided NT$4.5 million (US$154,358) in subsidies for the translation and publishing of works so that Taiwanese books could become a recognizable brand in the global market, Ting said.
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