Lunchtime Reading in Dublin by Taiwanese Author Chu Tien-Wen: Wednesday 10 May

Lunchtime Lecture: A Reading in Translation

Author Chu Tien-Wen reads from her work Notes of a Desolate Man
Followed by Q&A with the Author


Date: 10 May (Wednesday)

Time: 1PM-2PM
Venue: Trinity Centre for Literary Translation (36 Fenian Street /

Chu Tien-wen (朱天文), the first female writer to win the prestigious Newman Prize for Chinese literature, will read an excerpt from the source text of her novel Notes of a Desolate Man (荒人手記), which will be followed by a reading in the English translation.


Written in 1994, Notes of a Desolate Man chronicles the journey of a Taiwanese gay man and university lecturer, Shao, as he navigates the death of his best friend Ah-Yao from AIDS. Rife with philosophical, musical, and cinematic allusions from China, the West and Japan, Notes is hilarious, erudite, and heart-rending, an example of a novelist who stretches the limits of her language and imagination. Notes of a Desolate Man has been heralded as a ‘strong and perceptive voice’ (New York Times), and lauded as ‘a stylish meditation on marginalization, radicalization, and decay’ (Los Angeles Times).


Chu will be on hand to discuss her work and its English translation by Harold Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-Chun Lin, as well as to talk about her experience in writing the screenplays she has written with director Hou Hsiao-Hsien which have been translated into a multitude of languages.


Please join us for refreshments after the lecture.

Born August 24, 1956 in TaipeiTaiwan, Chu is one of Taiwan's most prominent novelists and screenwriters. She has written a number of short story collections and novels, including Fin-de-Siècle Splendour (世紀末的華麗, 1990), Notes of a Desolate Man (荒人手記, 1994), and Words of a Witch (巫言, 2008). She has also authored many scripts with the Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, most recently The Assassin, for which Hou won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. Chu’s other screenwriting credits include Taipei StoryThe PuppetmasterGoodbye South, GoodbyeMillennium Mamboand City of Sadness.


Presented by the Trinity Centre for Literary Translation with the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies. 

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