* 2020 Golden Tripod Award
* 2020 Taiwan Literature Award (Grand Prize)
Sharp Objects meets Flannery O’Connor in Garcia Marquez’s Macondo – or rather its Taiwanese equivalent – in this bestselling literary tour-de-force.
Yongjing, a small town in central Taiwan and whose name means “Eternal Peace”, is anything but. It is the birthplace of Chen Tien-Hong – youngest of seven siblings and result of parents who desperately wanted a son but instead got only daughters. Yet he turns out to be gay, so of course he had to run away.
The story begins many years later, when Chen has just been released from prison for killing his boyfriend in Berlin. He is about to return to Yongjing, now a poor and desolate place. With his parents gone, sisters married (to wrong guys), mad, or dead, there is really nothing left for him here. So why is he coming back? What happened more than a decade ago that tore this happy family apart? More importantly, why did Chen kill his German boyfriend?
Told in a myriad of voices – both living and dead – and moving through time with deceptive ease, Ghost Town weaves a mesmerizing web of family secrets and countryside superstitions, the search for identity and clash of cultures.
Kevin Chen’s first novel in twelve years is a sumptuous read, an irresistible fusion of Gothic family saga, bildungsroman, and magical realist mystery.