Sex & Taipei City by Yu-Han Chao

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Sex & Taipei City 
Short Stories by Yu-Han Chao

Sex in Taipei City is not what one expects: it is repressed, traded for cash, vengeful, sometimes awkward, and almost always secretive.


In Sex & Taipei City, a diverse cast of characters finds relationships more trouble than they bargained for.

Some are young and innocent: a teenager loses her virginity to a Ching Dynasty torture device in her family’s Strange Objects Museum, a schoolgirl spies on the groom and ruins her cousin’s wedding, a pregnant teen loses her baby, an American leaves a Taiwanese girl with a broken heart and HPV, a woman finds out her first love was married, and a young Taiwanese goes on his first real date with a British man he meets online.

Some are far from innocent: a schoolgirl sells her body as an odd form of revenge, a sociologist becomes a call girl to write her master’s thesis, a pregnant mistress offers her lover's wife five million NT for her to divorce him, a man has a baby with a Russian showgirl who abandons them both, teenage girls turn against their mother for bedding a boy their age, and a grandfather alienates his family by watching Japanese porn at too loud a volume.

For others, sexuality is a battle: a Taiwanese-Canadian finds herself judged everywhere in Taipei for not wearing a bra, a young woman commits red suicide to become a vengeful ghost, a spoiled cat ruins a marriage, a wife leaves her husband over a sexist joke, a foreign nanny steals an American baby, a mail order bride runs away, and a “spinster” beats up a pervert in the MRT station.


“Contemporary Taiwan's contradictions come to life in Yu-Han Chao's wonderful and gossipy collection Taipei City. The urban denizens that populate Chao's words are modern only in appearance and they helplessly careen toward their strange destinies, conveyed by age-old superstition and the failures of intimacy. These are the stories shared between rounds of karaoke that are so juicy and awful, you don't realize it when your song comes on.”—Ed Lin, author of Ghost Month

“From the fascinating quirks of food obsessions to the odd-but-seemingly-ordinary erotic moments of Taiwanese citizens, Yu-Han Chao’s Taipei City’s stories unfold a world of both the exotic and the familiar, captured in squirmy, disarming details. Teen pregnancies and forced marriages are accepted almost as a matter of course, as is the groping of a food stand/sex-worker, but Chao evokes the dignity and power of quiet tragedies, the lingering stigma of shame and what happens once a desire is given into, how it creates a desire-shadow. Funny, bold, and in moments, heartbreaking, these nineteen stories make up a stunning debut.”—William J. Cobb, author of The Bird Saviors


Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, Yu-Han (Eugenia) Chao received her BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures from National Taiwan University and her MFA in fiction from Penn State University. The Backwaters Press published her poetry book, We Grow Old: Fifty-Three Love Poems, and Another Calligraphy Press, Dancing Girls Press, and Boaat Press published her chapbooks. Her website is, and she maintains a blog about nursing and writing at  She currently lives in California, where she works as a registered nurse and educator.

PUB DATE: April 4, 2019
ISBN:  978-1-59709-043-8
SIZE: 5 in x 8 in
FORMAT: Tradepaper
EXTENT: 208pp

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