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Qiu Miaojin (1969–1995)—one of Taiwan’s most innovative literary modernists, and the country’s most renowned lesbian writer—was born in Chuanghua County in western Taiwan. She graduated with a degree in psychology from National Taiwan University and pursued graduate studies in clinical psychology at the University of Paris VIII. Her first published story, “Prisoner,” received the Central Daily News
Short Story Prize, and her novella Lonely Crowds
won the United Literature Association Award. While in Paris, she directed a thirty-minute film called Ghost Carnival
, and not long after this, at the age of twenty-six, she committed suicide. The posthumous publications of her novels Last Words from Montmartre
and Notes of a Crocodile
made her into one of the most revered countercultural icons in Chinese letters. After her death in 1995, she was given the China Times
Honorary Prize for Literature. In 2007, a two-volume edition of her Diaries
was published, and in 2017 she became the subject of a feature-length documentary by Evans Chan titled Death in Montmartre