[IN PERSON] In Celebration of Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise
[IN PERSON] In Celebration of Fang Si-Chi's First Love Paradise

Join AAWW, Taipei Cultural Center, and Accent Society in celebration of Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise, with Jenna Tang in conversation with Soje. 

RSVP HERE!

The most influential book of Taiwan’s #MeToo movement—a heartbreaking account of sexual violence and a remarkable reinvention of the trauma plot, turning the traditional Lolita narrative upside down as it explores women’s vulnerability, victimization, and the lengths they will go to survive.

Thirteen-year-old Fang Si-Chi lives with her family in an upscale apartment complex in Taiwan, a tightknit community of strict yet doting parents and privileged children raised to be ambitious, dutiful, and virtuous. She and her neighbor Liu Yi-Ting bond over their love of learning and books, devouring classic works—Proust, Gabriel García Márquez, the very best Chinese writers. Yet, it is their lack of real-world education that makes them true kindred spirits.

Si-Chi’s innocence is irresistible to Lee Guo-hua, a revered cram literature teacher and serial predator who lives in her building. When he offers to tutor the academic-minded girls for free, their parents—unaware of Lee’s true nature—happily accept. While Yi-Ting’s studies with Lee are straightforward, Si-Chi learns about things no one teaches them in school—lessons about sex and love that will change the course of her life. Confused and uncertain, Si-Chi turns to her beloved books for guidance. But literature tells her nothing honest about rape or how to cope with the trauma of abuse. For her own salvation, the young girl begins to think of her personal hell as her “first love paradise,” where the power of love, no matter how twisted, gives her the strength to survive.

One of the biggest books to come out of Taiwan in the last decade, Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise is a chilling tale of grooming and its lingering trauma, and the power structures that allow it to flourish. Insightful, unsettling, emotionally raw, it is a staggering work of literature that reverberates across cultures and forces us to confront painful truths about the vulnerability and strength of women and those who use and hurt them.

The event will take place in person at AAWW’s space, at 112 West 27th Street #600 New York, NY 10001 and via live stream!

The event will be catered by Artbean Coffee, founded in 2020 by Spencer Okada & Khanh Tran. They’re firm believers that both art and coffee bring people together. Which is why they’re building a tangible way to connect with artists while you enjoy specialty coffee roasted with love in Brooklyn. Beyond coffee and art, they wanted to foster a sense of community and a way to give back. Since opening their shop in Chinatown, they have been able to serve the community, celebrate their roots with Asian flavors inspired drinks along with highlighting AAPI artists.

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Jenna Tang is a Taiwanese writer, educator, and translator who translates between Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, and English. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. Her translations and essays are published in The Paris Review, Latin American Literature Today, AAWW, Catapult, Mcsweeney’s, and elsewhere. She translated Lin Yi-Han’s novel, Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise, one of the most iconic #MeToo movement titles from Taiwan.

Soje is a poet and the translator of Lee Hyemi’s Unexpected Vanilla (Tilted Axis Press, 2020), Lee Soho’s Catcalling (Open Letter Books, 2021), and Choi Jin-young’s To the Warm Horizon (Honford Star, 2021). They also make chogwa, a zine that features one Korean poem and multiple English translations per issue.

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ACCESSIBILITY & SAFETY

The event will be live streamed with auto captioning for those who cannot join us in-person. For those joining us in our space, we are located on the 6th floor, there is an elevator that will take you directly to our space. To protect our friends with chemical sensitivities, AAWW is a fragrance-free space. Masks are required for all attendees; if you forget yours, one will be provided for you. We have three commercial grade air purifiers in the space, and a quiet room in the back should you need some space from the crowd. With the current surge of COVID cases, we highly encourage you to take a test at home prior to the event. If you have had COVID or have had known contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID in the 10 days prior to the event, we ask you tune in for the live stream instead. Please reach out to dmanibo@aaww.org for additional accessibility requests, including ADA accessible bathrooms, chairs with added back support, and beyond. This space is for YOU!

RSVP HERE!

[IN PERSON] In Celebration of Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise

Wednesday, June 5, 2024
7:00 PM
$0.00
Asian American Writers Workshop
224 24th Street
New York
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