The Year of the Horse

6am here at the gate in West Palm Beach. I think it’s 7pm in Taiwan. It’ll take 25 hours to get there. And then I can watch the Super Bowl over breakfast, or something like that.

Really looking forward to this book fair. I was shocked when my publisher in Taiwan suggested I fly out. It turns out that — per capita — I’m probably better known in Taiwan than anywhere else. The translator is said to have done a masterful job with WOOL, turning it into a work of real literature, which means it’s probably not even about people living underground anymore. But hey, I don’t care if it’s about sheep! Just thrilled for the opportunity.

What am I looking forward to the most? Walking up 101 flights of stairs in one of the world’s tallest buildings. Yes, I’m going to suffer as my characters did. What elevator?

75 responses to “The Year of the Horse”

  1. Wow, 25 hours in a plane..I’m not sure I can imagine you sitting still for that long. You’ll need that trek up the stairs. :)

    But hey, you can probably write another book on the plane..

    Seriously, I think it’s wonderful that your writing has been so successful in other countries and in cultures that vary so widely. What is that like for you?

    Congrats on your success-I hope you have a blast!

  2. You should hire 100 guys to wear silver coveralls and stand at the doors to all the floor landings. So if you try to opt out after X amount of stairs, they’ll be sure give you a “polite” course correction.

    But weren’t there 144 flights in the in Silo? ; p. You’ll have to go back down to the high 50’s and repeat the upper bit.

  3. C’mon man, don’t be such a slacker, get on that Mandarin.

  4. Real literature indeed! Here in mainland China I just saw Wool on face out display at the local big bookstore chain (Booku), and it was displayed next to the new hit translation of Finnegan’s Wake. Good company I’d say.

    When she saw how excited I got about it, my girlfriend bought a copy as a Spring Festival (New Year) gift for her sci-fi loving cousin, and one for herself. I’m going to ask her to compare it to the English version for me. I’m curious.

    Have a great time in Taiwan and next time you should hit up the mainland.

  5. I’ve been to the top of Taipei 101… but we took an elevator. :-P Have fun over there. If you get a chance to try a lard burger… do it. They’re pretty good. We also found some great all you can eat seafood places.

  6. Ugh. Twenty-five hours. Hope you have something good to read or work on. Have a wonderful time, post lots of pics, and enjoy every single person you meet. I’m very excited for you. —–Oh, I just thought of this. Photo bomb a few people…lol

  7. And I thought 14 hours non stop to Rome was bad.(it was) then a 3 hour layover, and off to Capetown SA. Hope ya went 1st class.

    Stay safe and watch out for the cars go in a different direction just like Britain.


  8. Have a great time in Taiwan! Try to visit the original Din Tai Fung for dumplings and eat as much street food as possible. Also, you have to go to the 24-hour bookstore in Taipei!

    Can you come to Hong Kong next?

  9. The trip as well as the book, that is.


  10. Seeing your post reminded me of when I lived in Thailand for a semester, 10 years ago. My other American friends and I got up at 5am to watch the Superbowl. The bar we went to was PACKED for a Monday morning, and was the most Americans I saw in one place the whole time I was there :)

    Enjoy Taiwan! And good luck with those stairs :-/

  11. I read the Wool in English last year and the Taiwan Ed last month (yes, one of those three you posted for sale here). I have to admit that some sentences in the English Ed is a little hard to understand but not at all after the translation, while they sometimes changed a very simple sentence/word to a long and beautiful one (for example, there are several different kinds of “smile” in Chinese). However, I do wish they could spend a little more time with the editing. I saw some extra words, and it’s usually hard to translate “could/can” if you don’t pay enough attention. No offense, but even I can do a better job than translating Solo to Mr. Orphan. :)

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