- Interview by Director of Suspense Molly Odintz
I first encountered Ed Lin’s delicious Taipei night market mysteries when I was given the opportunity to interview him at the Texas Book Festival in 2014. His second in the series, Incensed, came out last October, and is just as delicious and aware as Lin’s first in the series, Ghost Month. Incensed follows Lin’s Joy-Division-loving hero, Jing-nan, as he attempts to shepherd Mei-ling, his gangster uncle’s wayward teenage daughter, safely through the city. Ed was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about the book, the series, and Taiwanese politics.
Molly Odintz: Your latest novel tackles some hot topics in Taiwanese politics. Could an author living in Taiwan have written about GLBT rights in Taipei with the same honesty and support you bring to the LGBTQ characters in the novel? And how about that Trump call?
Ed Lin: Taiwan doesn’t really have censorship issues–anymore! Back in the days of martial law (1947-1987) news and other media were heavily censored. A popular story is that the film “The Sound of Music” was edited down to one hour to prevent theatergoers from deriving inspiration in escaping a repressive regime! I think an author in Taiwan could have written this book, surely better than me! As it is, Taiwan is the most LGBTQ-friendly country in East Asia. Most of the public supports same-sex marriage, but there are these fringe “religious” groups that vehemently oppose it. I was reading about this one idiot at an anti-same-sex marriage rally who showed up dressed head-to-toe in a Nazi uniform. He claimed that the Nazis were against gay marriage, so he supported Nazis.