Qiu Miaojin (1969–95)—one of Taiwan’s most innovative literary modernists, and the country’s most renowned lesbian writer—was born in Chuanghua County in western Taiwan. She graduated with a degree in psychology from National Taiwan University and pursued graduate studies in clinical psychology at the University of Paris VIII . Her first published story, “Prisoner,” received the Central Daily News Short Story Prize, and her novella Lonely Crowds won the United Literature Association Award. While in Paris, she directed a thirty-minute film called Ghost Carnival, and not long after this, at the age of twenty-six, she committed suicide. The posthumous publications of her novels Last Words from Montmartre and Notes of a Crocodile (forthcoming from NYRB Classics) made her into one of the most revered countercultural icons in Chinese letters. After her death in 1995, she was given the China Times Honorary Prize for Literature. In 2007, a two-volume edition of her Diaries was published.
Bonnie Huie is a writer and literary translator of Chinese and Japanese. Her translation of Notes of a Crocodile (NYRB Classics), a coming-of-age novel by Taiwanese lesbian countercultural icon Qiu Miaojin, won the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize and was longlisted for the PEN Translation Prize. She is the past recipient of a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant. Her rendition of Motojirō Kajii’s poem “Under the Cherry Blossoms” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her work has appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her translations of political fiction by Okinawan novelist Tatsuhiro Ōshiro and Takiji Kobayashi, a leading figure of the proletarian literature movement, can be found in the Brooklyn Rail. She lives in New York. Author photo by An Rong Xu.