* Over one million copies sold globally
The most influential book of Taiwan’s #MeToo movement, this is a sobering tale of pedophilia, sexual assault, and structural inequality in upper-class Taiwanese society, intensified by Lin Yi-Han’s brilliant stream-of-consciousness style. Based on a true story.
The most influential book of Taiwan’s #MeToo movement, Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise is a chilling tale of pedophilia, sexual assault, and structural inequality in upper-class Taiwanese society. Author Lin Yi-Han’s intense stream-of-consciousness narrative style brings us directly into the young minds that are targeted, displaying before their and our very eyes how sexual assault can shatter human life, and how far unequal social institutions will go to hide the damage and protect abusers.
Thirteen-year-old Fang Si-Chi lives with her family in an upscale apartment complex in Kaohsiung. The families around her form a tight community of care, comfort, and extreme privilege, their children attending the best schools and enrichment programs together, and helping their parents with charity events. Si-Chi’s mental quickness attracts the attention of Mr. Li, a cram school literature teacher and fellow resident held in high esteem by the entire community for his erudition. When he offers to tutor Si-Chi privately, she and her parents happily accept, not knowing that they have let a wolf in the door.
The tale, told from three different perspectives in three segments entitled “Paradise”, “Paradise Lost”, and “Paradise Regained”, brings us into the minds of Si-Chi, her once-bosom friend Liu Yi-Ting, and of the abuser himself. But this is no fetishizing Lolita – it’s a first-hand, inside-and-out witnessing of both the long-lasting trauma of sexual abuse and the power structures that keep it hidden.
Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise was Lin Yi-Han’s gift to the world before she took her own life. As a work of both literature and literary activism, the book lives on to inspire readers and raise consciousness all over the world.