Elegy of Sweet Potatoes

Elegy of Sweet Potatoes is a thinly-fictionalized version of Tsai Tehpen's experiences as a political prisoner. Names are changed, dates are fudged, but the narrative here is true to life.

Author: Tehpen Tsai


ISBN: 1788692438


Page: 466

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A gripping, vital account of one man's imprisonment by Taiwan's police state early in the Cold War. In 1954 Tehpen Tsai was arrested by the Kuomintang regime on suspicion of being a Chinese communist agent. After initial weeks-long interrogation near his home he was transferred to a detention facility in Taipei specifically for seditionists and enemy operatives. The evidence against him: two books, one on his shelves at home, and one that another arrestee told police he had seen at Tsai's house. Tsai was not a communist. But in the febrile atmosphere of the early White Terror era in Taiwan that scarcely mattered; the secret police were commonly thought to operate by a rule to "never miss one true criminal, even if a hundred are killed mistakenly." He had just one thing counting in his favour: he had recently returned from a scholarship in the USA, and the Chiang Kai-shek government at the time was sensitive to American attitudes and pressure. In prison he met genuine communists, anti-government activists, intellectuals, and others like him, unlucky people swept up by a tenuous accusation or a chance encounter. One by one his cellmates disappeared, some to the execution grounds, others to Green Island, the notorious political prison off Taiwan's east coast. Tsai was more fortunate. Sentenced to a term of "re-education", he was released in November 1955. Elegy of Sweet Potatoes is a thinly-fictionalized version of Tsai Tehpen's experiences as a political prisoner. Names are changed, dates are fudged, but the narrative here is true to life. A compelling story full of rich description, pathos, and odd moments of humor, it is essential reading for anyone looking to understand the realities of martial law in "Free China".
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Canton Elegy

She got the children working with her to plant corn, sweet potatoes and spinach in our small garden, which they all enjoyed enormously, and I was happy to see my family relishing the simple pleasures of home life once more.

Author: Stephen Lee

Publisher: Watkins Media Limited

ISBN: 9781780286327

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 240

View: 657

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Stephen Lee's grandchildren knew him as a humble grocer. Beneath his humble exterior, however, lay one of the most extraordinary stories of the twentieth century. Lee was born in Canton, China in 1902. As a teenager he was sent to live with relatives in San Francisco. He attended college at Iowa State and later transferred to UC Berkeley where he was one of the first Chinese-Americans to receive a degree. The widespread racism of the time prevented Lee from landing a job in his chosen field of finance, so he burned his papers and returned home to China. With the clouds of war gathering, Lee, an anti-communist, found work in the accounting and logistics office of the Cantonese Air Force where he quickly rose to Colonel and comptroller. In 1929, after securing his position, he married a local beauty named Belle and in 1930, his first child, Amy, was born. When the Japanese pushed south from Manchuria in 1936, the Cantonese Air Force was merged with that of Chiang Kai-shek's and Lee was forced to flee with his wife and four children to Hong Kong. There Lee took a job with the Canton Trust Company. On the eve of the bombings at Pearl Harbor, the board of the Canton Trust made the fateful decision to send Lee to Kwelin to set up a new office. After Hong Kong fell to the Japanese, Belle and the children were force to flee on foot to Kwelin, which became a three hundred mile, six-week ordeal of hunger and hardship. In 1943, Kwelin was evacuated and the Lees were once again on the move. Forced to play the part of refugees, the Lees moved up river, eventually landing in the small village of Foo-Luke outside of Chungking. There Stephen was invited to teach accounting at the local university. But tragedy soon struck again when a sudden flood nearly washed the family down the Yangtze River. After the war, the Lees returned to Canton where they found that their home had been converted into an auto repair shop by the Japanese. Undaunted, Belle set about rebuilding it while Stephen helped return the city to civilian rule. By 1948, however, the Communists were bearing down on Canton and Lees were compelled to relocate again. In 1955, the Lees fled for a final time--to America. Back in San Francisco, Lee found that attitudes towards Chinese immigrants had not changed much since he first left there 30 years before. Canton Elegy is a love story, an adventure, and an intimate portrait of one family's struggle to survive. Stephen Jin-Nom Lee, his beautiful wife, Belle, and their four young children, braved famine, flood, corruption, and the devastation of war, on their journey to America. Written so that his grandchildren might one day understand the quiet man who ran the local grocery store, Canton Elegy has all the action of a Hollywood blockbuster. From the 300-mile journey Belle and the children take on foot, to the night when Stephen stands at his window watching Canton burn, Canton Elegy describes events with an artist's sensibility and a poet's heart.
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An Elegy for Fools

... sweet potatoes, and corn. They had offered to share with the Tilbarans, who had politely declined. They preferred something they called nutrient canisters. Tom thought the food in the small tins looked like wet sawdust and smelled ...

Author: David Bench

Publisher: Lulu Press, Inc

ISBN: 9781365366055

Category: Fiction

Page: 174

View: 975

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When a scouting mission in an uncharted system discovers signs of a world all but abandoned, the Tilbaran High Council sends Tsark Maladan and the small crew of the starship Tikuri Orao a hundred light years from home to investigate. On a mission to help save their world, a search for answers leads to more puzzling questions, and Tsark begins to fear that some among his crew may have their own hidden agenda. Tom Jacobsen is the unofficial leader of a small band of humans driven into the forested hills near Denver, Colorado—a now abandoned city they once called home. Their numbers dwindling almost daily; they must constantly fight or run to survive. Somehow, these two unlikely groups must find a way to put aside their many differences and work together against a common foe. The future of both worlds depends on it.
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Democratizing Taiwan

79 Tehpen Tsai, Elegy of Sweet Potatoes: Stories of Taiwan's White Terror, trans. ... Another recent memoir is Guo zhenchun 郭振純, Geng ganshuyuan de ren 耕甘藷園的人[A Person Who Tills His Sweet Potato Garden] (Taibei: Yushan 玉山, ...

Author: J. Bruce Jacobs

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9789004225909

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 356

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Taiwan is only one of four consolidated Asian democracies. Democratizing Taiwan provides the most comprehensive analysis of Taiwan's peaceful democratization including the past authoritarian experience, leadership both within and outside government, popular protest and elections, and constitutional interpretation and amendments.
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Two Trees Make a Forest

Elegy of Sweet Potatoes: Stories of Taiwan's White Terror. Translated by Grace Hatch. Upland, California: Taiwan Publishing Co., 2002. Tsou, Chih-Hua, and Scott A. Mori. 'Seed Coat Anatomy and its relationship to seed dispersal in ...

Author: Jessica J. Lee

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 9780349011035

Category: Travel

Page: 256

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I have learned many words for 'island': isle, atoll, eyot, islet, or skerry. They exist in archipelagos or alone, and always, by definition, I have understood them by their relation to water. But the Chinese word for island knows nothing of water. For a civilisation grown inland from the sea, the vastness of mountains was a better analogue: (dao, 'island') built from the relationship between earth and sky. Between tectonic plates and conflicting cultures, Taiwan is an island of extremes: high mountains, exposed flatlands, thick forests. After unearthing a hidden memoir of her grandfather's life, written on the cusp of his total memory loss, Jessica J Lee hunts his story, in parallel with exploring Taiwan, hoping to understand the quakes that brought her family from China, to Taiwan and Canada, and the ways in which our human stories are interlaced with geographical forces. Part-nature writing, part-biography, Two Trees Make a Forest traces the natural and human stories that shaped an island and a family.
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A World of Turmoil

... Elegy of Sweet Potatoes on, 3; embassy, 87; Executive Yuan congress of, 137, 229 (n. 49); flag of, 105, 175; first elections in, 98; and “Guidelines for National Unification,” 229 (n. 49); independence of, xlii, 89, 105, 136, ...

Author: Stephen J. Hartnett

Publisher: MSU Press

ISBN: 9781611863925

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 291

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The United States, the People’s Republic of China, and Taiwan have danced on the knife’s edge of war for more than seventy years. A work of sweeping historical vision, A World of Turmoil offers case studies of five critical moments: the end of World War II and the start of the Long Cold War; the almost-nuclear war over the Quemoy Islands in 1954–1955; the détente, deceptions, and denials surrounding the 1972 Shanghai Communiqué; the Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1995–1996; and the rise of postcolonial nationalism in contemporary Taiwan. Diagnosing the communication dispositions that structured these events reveals that leaders in all three nations have fallen back on crippling stereotypes and self-serving denials in their diplomacy. The first communication-based study of its kind, this book merges history, rhetorical criticism, and advocacy in a tour de force of international scholarship. By mapping the history of miscommunication between the United States, China, and Taiwan, this provocative study shows where and how our entwined relationships have gone wrong, clearing the way for renewed dialogue, enhanced trust, and new understandings.
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State Formation in China and Taiwan

Elegy of Sweet Potatoes: Stories of Taiwan's White Terror. Upland, California, 2002 Tucker, Nancy B. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States, 1945–1992: Uncertain Friendship. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1994 Tsai, Hui-yu Caroline.

Author: Julia C. Strauss

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108476867

Category: Political Science

Page: 295

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An ambitious comparative study of regime consolidation in the 'revolutionary' People's Republic of China and 'conservative' Taiwan in the early 1950s.
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The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Criminology

Tsai, T. (2002) Elegy of Sweet Potatoes: Stories of Taiwan's White Terror, Taipei: Taiwan Publishing Company. Tsai, T. M. and Tsai, M. S. (2008) 'An empirical study on the crime prevention effectiveness of CCTV', Central Police ...

Author: Liqun Cao

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781135021450

Category: Social Science

Page: 384

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As the world’s second largest economy, China has made great progress in developing criminology. The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Criminology aims to be a key reference point to summarize the large body of literature in both Chinese and English about various aspects of crime and its control in China for international scholars with an interest in the development of criminological research on and in the Greater China region, and for everyone with a broad interest in international criminology. The editors of the handbook have selected authoritative contributors recognized for their research and scholarship on China, Hong Kong Macao, and Taiwan. This handbook consists of five sections: An account of the development of criminology as an academic discipline in modern China, as well as some of the unique theories, strategies, or philosophies of crime control that have emerged, An analysis of the criminal justice system in China, including the police, the courts, corrections, juvenile justice and the death penalty, An exploration of the issues and problems in conducting research in China, Reflections on the nature of crime and criminality in China, including drugs, prostitution, human trafficking, corruption, floating population, domestic violence, and white-collar crime, An account of crime and criminal justice in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao. The book presents a coherent and comprehensive collection of essays on current research and theory in criminology, crime and justice in China and Greater China, and the Editors’ Introduction and Conclusion provide further contextualisation of the Handbook’s key themes.
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Insight Guides City Guide Taipei

But the tyranny also created quieter heroes, including the remarkable Tsai Tehpen, author of an extraordinary work of prison literature called Elegy of Sweet Potatoes: Stories of Taiwan's White Terror. Tsai spent 13 months in the ...

Author: Insight Guides

Publisher: Apa Publications (UK) Limited

ISBN: 9781780058856

Category: Travel

Page: 288

View: 456

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Taiwanese culture preserves the best of ancient traditions, while embracing the newest in high-tech modernity, and nowhere is this better exemplified than in the country's dynamic capital, Taipei. Whether you want to admire Taipei 101's architecture, discover precious Chinese artefacts at the National Palace Museum or indulge in feast of street food at Shilin Nightmarket, Insight City Guide Taipei will ensure that you have the quintessential Taipei experience. Features by local writers delve into topics including the arts scene, Taipei residents' love of sports and shopping, and traditional remedies, while evocative accounts of the city's districts bring Taipei to life, from Ximending's youth culture and Datong's Chinese heritage to the east's skyscrapers juxtaposed with hillside tea plantations. Full-colour photography and maps help you navigate with ease and our detailed Travel Tips give you all the practical information you need to plan your trip. Discover this fascinating city with Insight City Guide Taipei.
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