SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Writing and Researching for Fiction about Taiwan in the 1950s

Melissa Fu

Date: 9 July 2020Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 9 July 2020Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Summer School

As part of the 2020 SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies Summer School, we kindly ask that you register to attend.

This event will be held online through Blackboard Collaborate.

*Please be aware that all Summer School event times follow British Summer Time (BST)


I will talk about my motivations, methods and processes for writing a historical novel with sections set in 1950s Taipei. Of particular interest has been the challenge of incorporating historical research and academic scholarship into fiction intended for general audiences. My novel, Peach Blossom Spring, begins in 1938 when a mother and son flee the Wenxi fire in Changsha, and start an epic journey across China, looking always to the inspiring stories of their most precious possession: an illustrated handscroll. Surviving the Sino-Japanese and Chinese Civil wars, they spend a decade in Taiwan before the son emigrates to America where he'll start his own family. Exploring themes of resilience, family, and how both joy and trauma can echo across generations, Peach Blossom Spring will be published in early 2022.


Melissa Fu Profile

Melissa Fu grew up in Northern New Mexico and moved to Cambridge, UK in 2006. With backgrounds in physics and English, she spent many years working in education, both as a teacher and a curriculum consultant. Melissa was the regional winner of the Words and Women 2016 Prose Competition and was a 2017 Apprentice with the London-based Word Factory. Her work appears in several publications including The Willowherb Review, The Lonely Crowd, International Literature Showcase, Bare Fiction, Wasafiri Online, and The Nottingham Review. In 2018, her debut poetry pamphlet, Falling Outside Eden, won the inaugural Nicely Folded Pamphlet Competition at the Hedgehog Poetry Press and was published in 2019. Melissa was awarded an Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Practice grant to work on her first novel and was the 2018/2019 David TK Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia. Her debut novel Peach Blossom Spring will be published in February 2022 by Wildfire (UK) and Little, Brown (US).

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: