Preview | ‘The Boy from Clearwater’ explores the history of Taiwan and the White Terror era

Levine Querido shares a preview of the upcoming graphic novel written by Yu Pei-Yun and illustrated by Zhou Jian-Xin.

Courtesy of publisher Levine Querido, we’re pleased to present a preview of The Boy from Clearwater, a graphic novel written by Yu Pei-Yun, illustrated by Zhou Jian-Xin and translated by Lin King.

The Boy from Clearwater tells the story of Tsai Kun-lin, who lives on the island of Taiwan in the 1930s and experienced its occupation by Japan, followed by the rule of the Chinese National Party post-World War II. After attending a book club in high school, he’s arrested for taking part in an “illegal” assembly and spends a decade in prison as part of the White Terror era.

The Boy from Clearwater arrives in stores on Nov. 21. Check out the publisher information and the preview below.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

Taiwan, 1930s.

Tsai Kun-lin, an ordinary boy, was born in Qingshui. He grew up happily sneaking into the sugar cane fields reciting nursery rhymes he couldn’t understand, despite Japanese occupation looming over him. As war emerges, Tsai’s memories shift to military parades, air raids, and watching others face conscription into the army. After the war comes a new era under the rule of the Chinese National Party, and the book-loving teenager tries hard to learn Mandarin and be a good son. He believes he is finally stepping towards a comfortable future, but little does he know, a dark cloud awaits him ahead.

Taiwan, 1950s.

In his second year at Taichung First Senior High School, Tsai had attended a book club hosted by his teacher. This comes back to haunt him when he is consequently arrested on a charge of taking part in an “illegal” assembly. After being tortured into a false confession, he is sentenced to ten years in prison and eventually sent to Green Island for “reformation.” Lasting until his release in September 1960, Tsai, a victim of the White Terror era, spent ten years of his youth in prison, experiencing unspeakable horrors as well as unimaginable kindnesses. But he is now ready to embrace freedom.

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