Author(s): Wu Ming-Yi
On the island of Wayo Wayo, every second son must leave on the day he turns fifteen as a sacrifice to the Sea God. Atile'i however is determined to defy destiny and become the first to survive.
Across the sea, Alice Shih's life is interrupted when a vast trash vortex comes crashing onto the shore of Taiwan, bringing Atile'i with it.
In the aftermath of the catastrophe, Atile'i and Alice retrace her late husband's footsteps into the mountains, hoping to solve the mystery of her son's disappearance. On their journey, memories will be challenged, an unusual bond formed, and a dark secret uncovered that will force Alice to question everything she thought she knew.
A Taiwanese Life of Pi
"A haunting and evocative tale, beautifully told. I wept at the description of the dying whales and the approaching tsunami ... I think this work will be a classic" -- Hugh Howey, author of WOOL "Frankly, astonishing... A wonderful novel which deserves a very wide audience" -- David Barnett * Independent on Sunday * "Inventive narrative... The depiction of Atile'i's magical realm and his innocent wonder at this unfamiliar and murky world is imaginative and moving" -- Trisha Andres * Financial Times * "Shuttles between ... two realms with a dizzying ease reminiscent of Haruki Murakami, twisting the dreamlike into the curiously credible" * Times Literary Supplement * "We haven't read anything like this novel. Ever. South America gave us magical realism - what is Taiwan giving us? A new way of telling our new reality, beautiful, entertaining, frightening, preposterous, true. Completely unsentimental but never brutal, Wu Ming-Yi treats human vulnerability and the world's vulnerability with fearless tenderness" -- Ursula Le Guin
WU MING-YI is a Taiwanese writer, painter, designer, photographer, literary professor, butterfly scholar, environmental activist, traveller and blogger. He is the author of the novel Routes in the Dream (2007), as well as a number of non-fiction books and short story collections. The Man with the Compound Eyes is his first novel to be translated into English. DARRYL STERK has translated numerous short stories from Taiwan for The Chinese Pen Quarterly, and now teaches translation in the Graduate Program in Translation and Interpretation at National Taiwan University.