Wild Kids: Two Novels About Growing Up by Michael Berry

Wild Kids: Two Novels About Growing Up

byMichael Berry, Ta-chun Chang

Kobo ebook | August 31, 2000

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These two searingly funny and unsettling portraits of teenagers beyond the control and largely beneath the notice of adults in 1980s Taiwan are the first English translations of works by Taiwan's most famous and best-selling literary cult figure. Chang Ta-chun's intricate narrative and keen, ironic sense of humor poignantly and piercingly convey the disillusionment and cynicism of modern Taiwanese youth.

Interweaving the events between the birth of the narrator's younger sister and her abortion at the age of nineteen, the first novel, My Kid Sister, evokes the complex emotional impressions of youth and the often bizarre social dilemmas of adolescence. Combining discussions of fate, existentialism, sexual awakening, and everyday "absurdities" in a typically dysfunctional household, it documents the loss of innocence and the deconstruction of a family.

In Wild Child, fourteen-year-old Hou Shichun drops out of school, runs away from home, and descends into the Taiwanese underworld, where he encounters an oddball assortment of similarly lost adolescents in desperate circumstances. This novel will inevitably invite comparisons with the classic The Catcher in the Rye, but unlike Holden Caulfield, Hou isn't given any second chances. With characteristic frankness and irony, Chang's teenagers bear witness to a new form of cultural and spiritual bankruptcy.

Chang Ta-chun is among Taiwan's premier contemporary authors. His prolific and varied output has transformed him from a cult literary figure into a virtual celebrity in Taiwan, where he produces and hosts a television program on literature. He has published twenty-one books since his emergence on the literary scene almost two decades ...
Title:Wild Kids: Two Novels About Growing UpFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:August 31, 2000Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023150005X

ISBN - 13:9780231500050


Table of Contents

Translator's Introduction
My Kid Sister
A Present Just for Me
A New Breed of Woman
First Love
Her Taboo
On Treatment
All That Remains Is Our Shell of Flesh
Listening Intently and Telling Stories
The Awakening of Laughter
Chronicle of Death
Ending in Insanity
Wild Child
The Beginning
In the Streets
In the Heart of the Night
The Handgun
The Past
On the Rooftop
The Hotel
The Port
The Poster
The Window
From Birth
The Celebrity
The Adoption
The Negotiation
The Birthday
And Supposing

Editorial Reviews

Chang is an astute observer and perceptive cultural critic...English readers will easily identify with the sentiments and circumstances portrayed by Chang and skillfully translated by Berry. On the surface, this fully engaging novel written by Chang Ta-chun, one of the most critically acclaimed and popularly successful writers in Taiwan today, is a fantastic adventure story featuring a middle-class teenage boy of divorced parents in Taipei's underground criminal circle. The narrative delights with its many twists and turns at the textual level, consisting of ingeniously crafted plot and disarmingly pungent and witty commentaries. While the universal 'rite of passage'theme of the adolescent quest for the wisdom of life is rendered with Chang's hallmark postmodern cynicism, the author has simultaneously registered his deep sense of disillusionment with the degenerating social and political life in post-martial law Taiwan.