Taipei-A book about the stories of homeless people and another about witches were among the winners of the 2018 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) Book Prize, which were announced Tuesday.
The book, "Life Stories of the Homeless in Taiwan," documents the lives of 10 homeless people, including former soldiers, blue collar workers, businessmen, convicts and gang members, and their journeys to homelessness.
Written by Lee Win-shine (???), the book also includes the accounts of five social workers and their experiences working with homeless people, according to its publisher, Guerrilla Publishing Co.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Lee said the book was rejected by over 10 publishers before it was finally published, and her husband, who has supported her efforts to complete the book, was suddenly hit by a cerebral hemorrhage after the book was published and had to be hospitalized.
"We work hard in life, and take it for granted that our lives will be smooth. But we never know when we will sink to a low point," Lee said. "We all need someone to have our backs and edge us on."
"Life Stories of the Homeless in Taiwan" was among the three winners in the non-fiction category. The other two winners are Lee Hsin-lun's (???) "Yi Wo Wei Qi" (????) about a woman's body from marriage, through pregnancy and childcare, and Lin Yu-li's (???) "Die Macht in der Mitte Europas," about a Taiwanese reporter's observation of German society.
Meanwhile, Chou Fen-ling's (???) "Hua Dong Fu Hao" (????), which centers on the lives of various witches from different time periods dating back to the Shang Dynasty, was among the three winners in the fiction category.
The other two winners are Huang Chong-kai's (???) "The Content of the Times," which talks about Taiwanese literature and art through 11 stories, and a selection of works by Chinese novelist Jin Yucheng (???) called "Jin Yucheng Zuo Pin Xuan Ji" (???????).
Chou told CNA in an interview that it took her 10 years to write her novel, calling it a "dream come true."
Her novel crosses over from the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) to the modern period, and is set in places such as Japan, China, Taiwan and South Korea, Chou said.
The novel portrays the lives of a number of witches, from Lady Fu Hao (??), a queen and high priestess in the Shang Dynasty, to a Ryukyu princess during the Mudan Incident, to a modern psychic, and how their lives intersect, she said.
"They are all lonely, but eventually they discover that they are all the same. Witches have not disappeared, they have evolved," Chou said.
The TIBE Book Prize also honored five book editors, including Wang Fan (??), Chuang Jui-lin (???), Chia Shih-chiang (???), Cheng Ya-ching (???) and Chang Wei-ting (???) for their outstanding work.
The TIBE Book Prize received a total of 101, 290 and 160 submissions in the fiction, non-fiction and editing categories, respectively. An award ceremony will take place Feb. 6 at the opening of the Taipei International Book Exhibition.
President Tsai Ing-wen (???) is expected to present a trophy and a cash award of NT$100,000 (US$3,379) to each winner, according to the Taipei Book Fair Foundation.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel