The Dark Backward
Publisher：Locus Publishing Co.
Chun Lan’s husband strives for justice but turns dumb after the February 28 incident. For decades afterwards, he just stares off into space. The exact reasons for his condition are unknown. Right before he dies, he briefly snaps out of it and begins feverishly scribbling. Later, no one knows what became of what he had written….
Chun Lan’s son is extraverted by nature and resentful of his comatose-like father. It seems as if he has no father at all, so he takes every opportunity to be out and about, away from home. For him, even the most trivial of incidents incites concerns about fairness. He ends up going down the same path as his father, fighting for people’s rights and being thrown into prison as a result….
Chunlan’s grandson likewise comes to feel that he lacks a father. He isn’t concerned about his father’s and grandfather’s pasts; all he cares about is living a comfortable life. What’s more, he is gay, and that is something that his father simply cannot accept. Nevertheless, the men with whom he has relationships, righteous activists, are a lot like his father. For a lover’s sake, the grandson participates in demonstrations against the Meinong Reservoir and government confiscation of land in Lesheng. But the truth is he doesn’t care about those issues one way or the other. It isn’t until he confronts a bullying incident at school that he is forced to look back and confront some terrible memories he had been avoiding for so many years….
Chun Lan’s oldest son becomes a successful civil rights lawyer who fights on behalf of immigrants and other disadvantaged groups. Taiwanese natives who were oppressed by the KMT have ended up oppressing others. The tyranny of the majority is a silent conspiracy, in which most participate unconsciously. At the behest of the International Workers Association, he looks into the issue of foreign workers being illegally exploited in Taiwan. Leaving their homelands, these workers are like the Han Chinese pioneers who crossed the strait to Taiwan several centuries ago. Yet those Han pioneers were able to establish homes for themselves in the wilderness, whereas these recent immigrants have been deprived even of their own names. To the Taiwanese they are just numbers. Chun-lan’s oldest son looks into the case of A7802, whose name is Ah-shun. Uncovering collusion between the city government and the businesses that employ foreign laborers, the lawyer stirs up political shockwaves in southern Taiwan….
The mother who lost her child in the case of campus bullying that has become a concern of Chun-lan’s grandson does not understand why her son incited so much hostility among his peers. He never wronged anyone. He was considerate. He loved to sing. He loved to cook. But because his classmates thought he was effeminate, they continually picked on him until the tragic incident occurred. Although she was unable to save her son, she takes as her goal in life to save other bullied children. After the incident, attitudes toward sexual identity in Taiwan’s schools finally begin to change….
It wasn’t until the day of the The 8-8 Typhoon Morakot Disaster, when their home filled with water, that Chun Lan’s husband’s hidden draft was uncovered, and the whole family was able to understand why he went mute….
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