As part of the Ministry's Spotlight Taiwan global initiative, renowned Taiwanese writer and professor Wu Ming-yi (吳明益) has been invited to attend two seminars on issues relating to the global marine environment at the Berkeley branch of the University of California.
The seminars will be held at the Institute of East Asian Studies on the UC Berkeley campus, with "Pacific Rim or Pacific Garbage Patch? — The Ocean and Ecological Crisis in the Post-3/11 World” scheduled for Feb. 26, and "The Novel and the Sea in an Age of Ecological Catastrophe: A Discussion of Taiwanese author Wu Ming-yi's ‘The Man with the Compound Eyes'” scheduled for Feb. 28.
Wu, an author and essayist who makes nature the focus of his writings, will discuss the health of the ocean today and environmental issues from different perspectives. Several environmental activists and experts will also attend the two seminars.
The 43-year-old writer has published several renowned books and novels, including non-fiction books on butterflies. He is especially well known for his essay collections "The Book of Lost Butterflies” (迷蝶誌) and "The Dao of Butterflies” (蝶道).
His books have received several awards and nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, and Turkey have purchased publishing rights. The success of the English edition of his fourth novel, "The Man with the Compound Eyes” (複眼人), has earned favorable reviews that compare Wu to "Norweigan Wood” novelist Haruki Murakami and "Cloud Atlas” author David Mitchell.
The Ministry's Spotlight Taiwan global initiative offers up to US$4 million to selected universities and institutes to help them hold lectures, forums, workshops, exhibitions, and festivals on Taiwanese art, literature, history, popular culture, and films.
More than 12 top universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Singapore have become official partners of the project. Thanks to the funds donated by Ruentex Group Chairman Samuel Yin (尹衍樑), the Spotlight Taiwan initiative will continue until 2016.