Past Event

Frankfurt in Paris Book Talk: Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Tiang in conversation

October 19, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Join us for our fourth annual “Frankfurt in Paris” book talk organized in partnership with Columbia University Press.

This year’s edition will feature Kaiser Kuo, host of Sinica Podcast, and writer/translator Jeremy Tiang in conversation about Tawainese author Lo Yi-Chin’s novel Faraway ( CUP 2021).


In Taiwanese writer Lo Yi-Chin’s Faraway, a fictionalized version of the author finds himself stranded in mainland China attempting to bring his comatose father home. Lo’s father had fled decades ago, abandoning his first family to start a new life in Taiwan. After travel between the two countries becomes politically possible, he returns to visit the son he left behind, only to suffer a stroke. The middle-aged protagonist ventures to China, where he embarks on a protracted struggle with the byzantine hospital regulations while dealing with relatives he barely knows. Meanwhile, back in Taiwan, his wife is about to give birth to their second child. Isolated in a foreign country, Lo mulls over his life, dwelling on his difficult relationship with his father and how becoming a father himself has changed him.

Faraway is a powerful meditation on the nature of family and the many ways blood can both unite and divide us. Lo’s depiction of family dynamics and fraught politics contains a keen sense of irony and sensitivity to everyday absurdity. He offers a deft portrayal of the rift between China and Taiwan through an intimate view of a father-son relationship that bridges this divide. One of the most celebrated writers in Taiwan, Lo has been greatly influential throughout the Chinese-speaking world, but his work has not previously been translated into English. Jeremy Tiang’s translation captures Lo’s distinctive voice, mordant wit, and nuanced portrayal of Taiwanese culture.


Kaiser Kuo

Kaiser Kuo is host of the Sinica Podcast, a weekly discussion of current affairs in China, and is director of SupChina's Sinica Network, which includes nine China-focused podcasts. Kaiser spent a year in China after graduating from U.C. Berkeley, and during that time co-founded the seminal heavy metal band Tang Dynasty, which went on to become one of China's most successful rock groups. After several years in graduate school in the U.S., Kaiser moved back to China in 1996 and lived in Beijing for 20 years, first rejoining Tang Dynasty then going on to work at the intersection of technology and media, as an editor for an internet startup, as China bureau chief for Silicon Valley tech magazine Red Herring, and later as communications director for Chinese internet companies Youku and Baidu. In 2016, he left Beijing after the Sinica Podcast, which he and Jeremy Goldkorn started in 2010, was acquired by SupChina. He now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife and two teenage children. 

Jeremy Tiang

Jeremy Tiang is a novelist, playwright and literary translator from Chinese. His translations include novels by Yeng Pway Ngon, Yan Ge, Liu Xinwu, Su Wei-chen, Zhang Yueran, Shuang Xuetao, Geling Yan, Chan Ho-Kei and Li Er, as well as plays by Chen Si'an, Wei Yu-Chia, Quah Sy Ren and Han Lao Da. He is an International Booker Prize judge for 2022, and will be the Princeton University translator-in-residence in spring 2022. His novel State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. Originally from Singapore, Jeremy now lives in Flushing, Queens.