For Taiwanese teen novelist, English is an art, not a tool – Taiwan English News


“The road to success is paved with adversities, but that’s what makes it so special,” says Hermione Lee, a seventeen-year-old Taiwanese author.

Lee’s first novel, In the name of the other world, was published by World Castle Publishing on September 21. He is the recipient of the Literary Titan Silver Book Award, which, according to Literary Titan, is “awarded to books that expertly deliver complex characters, complex worlds and challenging themes.”

In the name of the other world reached number 1 on new releases on books.com.tw (博客 來) on the day of publication, and is also available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and Eslite Bookstore.

In this fantasy adventure novel for young adults, Lee tackles topics such as bullying, gender stereotypes, self-discovery, and many other common issues that young adults face in their daily lives. Readers can identify with protagonist Alexandria Richardson as she gradually learns to love herself, come to terms with her past, and recognize her potential and worth.

In the name of the other world is the first volume in a trilogy. The following, Wonders of the Underworld, is under contract, while the third book is already finished. Lee is currently working on her fourth novel, which is also aimed at young adults. She aspires to become an English teacher and to influence her future students by cultivating in them a deep love for English.

“It is my dream to revolutionize the English education system in Taiwan,” says Lee. “I hope children learn English not by studying the laws of grammar but by reading books and seeing English as an art form rather than a tool for communicating with foreigners,” says Hermione Lee.

“A lot of people, from teachers to parents, only care about testing, with a heavy emphasis on memorizing English vocabulary words instead of its linguistic beauty. Such a stressful way of learning will not encourage good writing and can only lead to poor results, ”said Lee.

It is also Lee’s wish to motivate more teens to exercise their creative energies instead of smothering them with schoolwork. By sharing her own experience with more people, she hopes to positively influence them and leave her mark on this world, giving it forward and helping more teens achieve their dreams. Age, after all, is just a number.

Hermione Lee spoke to Taiwan English News about her experiences growing up in Taiwan, while still being able to master the English language to the point where, rather than taking mundane corporate English tests, she was able to pass a much more real-life novel publishing test in English in the United States. States.

“When I was very young, my parents taught me English by reading story books to me. I grew up learning English by reading more and more books, and I finally decided to write one when I was 13. Because of this, I have never familiarized myself with the rules of grammar even though I can write grammatically correct sentences and articles, ”said Lee.

“When I was six, I started reading Magic Tree House books, a series of historical fantasy children’s adventure books. The plot and the characters kindled in me a love for books, which turned into an eternal interest in reading.

“I must have read thousands of books in English by now, and although I’m busy writing my fourth book, I still take the time to read. Some of my favorite books are Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Paterson), Nineteen Minutes (Jodi Picoult), the Harry Potter series (JK Rowling), and Defending Jacob (William Landay).

Lee said she lives in Taiwan and has never lived abroad. His only experience of immersion in the English language is through books, other media and occasional trips abroad.

Speaking about teaching English in Taiwan, Lee said:

“Language is not just a tool, but above all an art form. We have to learn a foreign language not in order to get good grades, but by focusing on its linguistic beauty.

“It’s sad that we don’t treat English as a mother tongue here. In Chinese textbooks, we are introduced to figurative language, such as comparisons, comparisons, anthropomorphism, metaphors, alliteration, onomatopoeia and many more. Unfortunately, few schools teach children the aesthetic aspect of the English language. I didn’t know English could be as artistic as Chinese until I started reading more novels. You’ll see a lot of aesthetic language in my book, especially when it comes to descriptive writing.

“The cool evening breeze hummed and teased the rustling leaves. Tall trees shrouded in darkness loomed above us, casting ghostly shadows on the lichen-covered ground. Twilight reigned in the sky, and the towering columns of trees around us darkened a shadow every few minutes, giving off a strange sense of foreboding.

Of In the name of the other world Chapter 8.

On advice for English students in Taiwan, Lee says:

“Don’t try to to learn English. Make it a part of your life and make it part of your interests. If your interest happens to be reading English novels, well, good news for you. Just grab a book and get started!

“If you like movies, try downloading the scripts while watching the movie to expand your vocabulary. If you like sports, watch the TV channel at an NBA basketball game and try to follow what the commentator says. If you like music, search for English songs on YouTube and take a good look at the lyrics. If you’re a K-Pop fan, go online and read articles (in English, of course) about your favorite K-Pop group, and listen to BTS’s speech at UN Headquarters. If you like online games, try downloading some in English and learn by playing. Don’t torture yourself with the learning process, enjoy English and make it a part of your life.

To buy In the name of the other world on Amazon:

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