Yi-Hsum (Nathalie) Chang
Photo provided by OKAPI閱讀生活誌
Born in 1973 in Taipei, Chang earned a Master’s degree from the Department of Cinema and Audiovisual Studies at Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle. She began to sell stories when she was a student at Zhongshan Girls High School. She later studied history at National Chengchi University, where she chaired the Society for Women Studies. In 1996, “Domestic Affairs” was awarded Unitas’s New Author Award for Fiction. It won high praise from Li Ang, who sat on the judging panel that year. It was also selected for Avanguard’s The Best Taiwanese Literature 1995-1996. Chang’s short story collections When Things Decay and The Best of Times were published by Rye Field. Some of them are taught in Queer Studies classes at universities. In 2012, her novel Not in Love for Long: Recollections of Nantes and Paris was nominated for TiBE Book Prize. This novel interweaves the political background of Taiwan with the life of Jews in France.
Her major work, I’am Leaving, with dark humor and strange sensibility, showed a transgressive and intimate portrait of a contemporary Taiwanese, who was a survivor from the erotic and political war. Chang is also a director and screenwriter. In 2012, Chang was listed in ” the 20 best Sinophone writers under 40” by Unitas Magazine.
Herstory of Sex, winner of many literary awards in Taiwan, contains four short stories. Among which, “Forty-three Floors” explores the relationship between sex and housing during an encounter; “Illicit Desire” uses the first person point of view to ridicule and rewrite the literary tradition of self-narrated sexual experiences; “History of Sexual Meaning“ uses twelve stories to talk about women’s losses and self-enjoyments in the language of sex from childhood to adulthood, which is thought to be teasing and rewriting Michel Foucault’s Histoire de la sexualite; ”A Whore Wasn’t Made in a Day“ creates a twenty-first century version of some characters and plots in the Chinese classical novel, The Golden Lotus.
Domestic Affairs is a novel selected for the NMTL Literature in Translation Japanese Project that has now been published in Japanese. The article “Domestic Affairs wasn’t built in a day” was published in Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series, no. 49. I’m Leaving earned the 2021 “21st Century Ascendant” Award, an annual honor established by Wenhsun Publishing in 1970 to recognize each year’s most influential new novels. Taiwan literary researcher Ma Yihang wrote in his article “Contemporary novels: Settings and Transgressions” that: “While its structure of politics, gender, and memories allows I’m Leaving to capture the essence of the contemporary novel, its form and plot radically work to oppose and destroy all pretense of such an inheritance or lineage. The juxtaposition of inheritance and separation parallels the violence and mediocrity distributed amongst various positions in contemporary identity politics.”
Born in Muzha, Taipei.
Her work, “Domestic Affairs”, received the Unitas Fiction Writing Award for New Writers.
1999 – 2010
Lived in France. Received Master degree in Audiovisual and Cinema Studies, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3.
2012 – 2019
Published the novels Not in Love for Long: Recollections of Nantes and Paris and I’am Leaving as well as the short story collection Herstory of Sex.
Herstory of Sex won the OPENBOOK and Mirror Media Culture’s Book of the Year Award. She was also a member of the final judging panel for the Taiwan Literary Award for Books.
This book evokes the memory of the early democratic movement in Taiwan, and also touches the intermarriage between Minnan and Hakka during the Japanese colonial period. The protagonist’s mother went through this kind of marriage and became a very difficult character to digest in literature: she claimed to defend Hakka culture, looking down on every single thing in Taiwan. However, was it only because the KMT regime imposed silence on this island? Moreover, the author uses private, small favors, hates and uncomfortable feelings to present more complicated elements that facilitate or delay homosexual writing in order to achieve and go beyond her mission, revealing stories that you will never find in the history of literature…
Herstory of Sex
This book contains four short novels, and all of them are sex-related stories. However, the gender in this book is not dichotomous, and sex is no longer either “open and aboveboard” or “under the table.” Rather, the author discovers many different layers of gender and sex, uncovering memories and political issues related to the body with an honest approach in the novel. She writes about sex in an unashamedly manner and stay on the right side of the fine line, creating a witty and exquisite book of sex.
Publisher: Ecus Publishing House
240 pages | 14.8 x 21 cm
Rights Contact: [email protected]
Openbook Book of the Year 2019
Mirror Media Culture’s Book of the Year Award
the 44th Golden Tripod Award’s Recommended Titles
Not in Love for Long: Recollections of Nantes and Paris
Would a Taiwanese lesbian studying in France fell in love with a heterosexual man she met in France? Would they form a long-term relationship? In this novel, the hero and heroine made a serious promise, “This is certainly not and will never become a love relationship.” They talked back and forth so firmly, almost getting notarized to swear that they would never fall in love with each other… Not in Love for Long is Chang’s first novel and it is also her favorite book she has written so far.t have to say about emotions?” By exploring the 100 sentimental objects, the author guides readers into their deepest emotions.
All the Grownups Who Once Bored Me
This book is divided into two volumes. The first volume: The Adults I Hated. The “adults” the author hated before ranging from Simone de Beauvoir, Freud, Sylvia Plath, Woody Allen to Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and her calligraphy teacher, etc. The second volume: How Much Do I Hate? This volume is all about Hatred. She hates snobbery, mother, disillusioned idol worship, taking a stand, etc. It is fascinating and very interesting to see how the author flips the concepts of “hate” and “hatred.”
100 Objects of Emotion
This book is about the 100 objects of emotions in the author’s life. Some objects are mundane while others are exclusive. The standard for picking the objects are not about its usefulness, but more about “what does it have to say about emotions?” By exploring the 100 sentimental objects, the author guides readers into their deepest emotions.
Moviegoing Named Desire
This book is a collection of fifty wonderful essays about films. The first volume, Internal Monologue, contains direct and uncontrolled expressions of emotion, which provides a glimpse of the freedom in the film diary and a snapshot of the events happened between 2014 and 2018. The second volume, Film Criticisms, is a collection of formal film criticisms published in supplements and festival-related events, providing readers who wish to learn more about classic figures in film history, gender culture, or film aesthetics with a brief analysis and commentary.