Hello and welcome!
Before I could travel, I immersed myself in books. Through those stories, I found myself along for grand adventures. Some personal favorites were fantasy novels about unicorns and dragons in lands far away. I then took a hiatus from reading in my early stages of adulthood, convinced that I was too busy with real-life experiences, work, and globetrotting to indulge in such pleasures. In recent years, I rediscovered books, sparking again my love for armchair traveling and self-reflection. I eventually found a few genres I love, and I'd like to share them with you here.
I'm much stronger at listening to Chinese than reading Chinese. Reading English books already take time; reading Chinese books would take me much longer. As such, there's a large set of literature I'm not able to immerse myself in (yet). An extension of reading other people's accounts is hearing their oral accounts. So I set off to try to capture some of this magic through (bilingual) podcasting. After all, oral storytelling is an ancient tradition. I believe everyone has a unique story to share, and that sharing your story can be healing for you as well as for the broader community. At Taiwanese Diaspora (the podcast), I invite people to share personal stories in Chinese and/or English. We discuss a range of topics: identity, immigration, assimilation, bicultural and multicultural issues, mental health and wellness, career, projects, and much more.
Please check back often for book recommendations catered to the TaiwaneseX community by myself as well as podcast listeners. The book recs are aren't necessarily Taiwan-centric or AsianX-centric, because I find that reading books by diverse authors offers valuable perspective about the world and may help you on your personal journey as well. My list starts with my personal favorites in the realm of memoirs, current events, and historical fiction, and I'm also calling out young adult novels and history collections written by immigrants and children of immigrants. Please DM me to suggest your favorite books -- I'm always looking for more books to binge on. All genres are welcome!
I invite you to join me on this heritage exploration journey as we amplify the voices of the TaiwaneseX community. Buying through bookshop.org supports brick-and-mortar bookstores and small businesses in your neighborhood (yay! Any other Amazon boycotters out there?), and also the Taiwanese Diaspora podcast (a passion project hoping to expand).
Cynthia, creator and host of The Taiwanese Diaspora Podcast
Check out the podcast at TaiwaneseDiaspora.com or on your favorite podcast player (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and others).
Follow our adventures @twdiaspora on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (linked below).