The Stolen Bicycle

The Stolen Bicycle


by Ming-Yi Wu
MAY 2019

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Pub Date: 30 May, 2019
Extent: 416pp
Format: paperback
ISBN: 9781911231240
Rights: World (English): Text Publishing

TPB Available: 9781911231158, £10.99

Translated from the Taiwanese by Darryl Sterk

  • Longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize

  • Winner, Taiwan Literary Award, Taiwan, 2015

  • Winner, China Times Open Book Award (Six-time winner, including 2015), Taiwan

  • Winner, Eslite Bookseller Award for Author of The Year, Taiwan, 2015

  • Commended, Publishers Weekly International Hot Book Properties, 2015

Read a sample chapter from The Stolen Bicycle here.
Book Club Notes here.

On a quest to explain how and why his father mysteriously disappeared twenty years ago, a writer embarks on an epic journey in search of a stolen bicycle and soon finds himself immersed in the strangely overlapping histories of the Japanese military during World War II, Lin Wang, the oldest elephant who ever lived, and the secret world of antique bicycle collectors in Taiwan. The result is a surprising and moving meditation on memory, loss, and the bonds of family.


‘A work of astonishing energy, in which Wu beautifully touches on loss, life and death, fate and destiny, establishing emotional connections between memory and objects, and between the natural world and war... a novel that provides comfort and reconciliation from a wounded past.’ Taiwan

‘The novel, inspired by his love for bicycles and Taiwanese history, brings readers back to a simpler time when life moved more slowly and people spent more time face-to-face with friends and neighbors. Riding a bike allowed people to appreciate and digest the details of the world around them.’ Taipei Times

‘A profoundly moving novel, such is the power of words and depth of feeling by Taiwanese author Wu Ming-Yi…He turns events into linguistic gold with his poetic, dreamlike language.’ Good Reading

‘A visionary ride through flame-scorched lands and machine-clutching trees and metamorphoses into metal and earth…"World is crazier and more of it than we think,/Incorrigibly plural", Louis MacNeice wrote…Multiply that by 10 or so and you get some sense of Wu’s astonishing, often-affecting kaleidoscope.’ NZ Listener


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Word by Word blog
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China Post News: Ministy of Culture promoting Taiwanese literature worldwide 
The Stolen Bicycle with Reading Group Choices