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Yu Peiyun

A graduate of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Taiwan University, Yu Peiyun also holds a PhD from Ochanomizu University in Japan. She currently researches and teaches at the Graduate Institute of Children's Literature at National Taitung University. She is also involved in the curating, writing, translation and criticism of children’s literature.


Rights sold: Japanese (Iwanami Shoten), French (Kana), Arabic (Nool), German (Baobab), English (Levine Querido), Korean (Marco Polo), Italian (Bao), Lithuanian (Aukso Žuvys)   2021 The White Ravens Award (International Youth Library) 2021 Taipei Book Fair Award (Best Young Adult Books) 2021 Golden Tripod Award (Best Young Adult Books) 2021 Golden Comics Awards Best New Talent (Best New Talent)   Like Persepolis, Son of Formosa explores Taiwan’s contemporary history through the story of an ordinary person. The tale reveals an ordinary person’s perseverance despite the hardships he faces in turbulent times.   This series of graphic novels draws on the actual events of Tsai’s life. At Taichung First Senior High School he was a trainee soldier and a good student; years later he was sentenced to ten years in prison for attending a high school book club. On release he worked in publishing and advertising, and founded Prince, a children’s magazine which kept Taiwan’s cartooning tradition alive during martial law. He raised funds to allow a rural little league team to compete in Taipei and, on retirement, became a human rights activist.   Tsai’s life is Taiwan’s recent history writ small. There is darkness, but always a light; hardship, but always the strength to endure. A simple yet graceful style faithfully recreates the historical scenes, with the accurate use of the Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese languages bringing those times to life. The warmth and vitality of the storytelling demonstrate that while we cannot control events, we can, as Tsai did, persevere through them.   4 Volumes (end) 170 x 230 mm Two colors for each volume   Volume I: A Boy Who Loves to Read (2020/05/05) (Soft pencil lines depicts Taiwan under Japanese rule and Tsai’s carefree childhood) In the 1930s, young Tsai Kun-lin grows up happily with the company of nursery rhymes and picture books on Qingshui Street, Taichung under Japanese rule. With the emergence of war comes parades, air raids, and conscription. No one can escape. After the war, the book-loving teenager tries hard to learn Mandarin and believes he is finally stepping towards a comfortable future, but little does he know, a dark cloud awaits him ahead.   Volume II: Ten Years on Green Island (2020/06/25) (Illustrations resembling woodcuts express the depressing experience of Tsai’s detention and imprisonment) In his second year at Taichung First Senior High School, Tsai attends a book club hosted by his teacher and is consequently arrested on a false charge of taking part in an “illegal” assembly. After being tortured, he is sentenced to ten years in prison, deprived of civil rights for seven years, and sent to Green Island for reformation in 1951. Until his release in September 1960, Tsai, a victim of the White Terror era has spent ten years of his youth in prison on an unjust charge.   Volume III: The Prince Period (2021/01/01) (Screentone and fountain pen lines depicts Tsai’s active days as an comic magazine editor) Discharged from prison, Tsai works as an editor at the comic magazine Oriental Youth. In 1966, comic publications become subject to censorship, many of his friends lose their job. Tsai decides to found a children’s magazine, Prince, for a group of unemployed artists and his old inmates who cannot find work anywhere else. He also sponsors the Red Leaves, a little league baseball team from Taitung, making possible their trips to compete in Taipei and starting a baseball fever in Taiwan. However, the magazine’s mounting financial losses leaves Tsai in debt and eventually bankrupt.   Volume IV: “I Am a Thousand Winds” (2021/12/15) (Contemporary Taiwan is portrayed in a style resembling documentary photography and contemporary art) The rising political opposition movement and the end of martial law urges Tsai and his old inmates on Green Island to initiate a movement to rehabilitate White Terror victims. After retiring, Tsai serves as a volunteer at the White Terror Memorial Park, where he promotes human rights education and looks back on the hard times in his life.    
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