Chi Wei-Jan, born in 1954, is a Taiwanese essayist and playwright. Private Eyes is his first novel. His plays include MIT: Mad in Taiwan (2008), The Mahjong Game Trilogy (1997-2007), and One Bed, Four Players (1999). He is a university professor in a Drama department.
Featured Reading Group Title
Does moving to the Dead Zone bode well for Wu Chen, a newly minted private detective who has just quit his job as a college professor and playwright? Perhaps not, given that it has Taipei’s highest concentration of funeral parlours.
His calling card may read ‘Private Eye’, but Wu Chen likes to think he possesses a pair of ‘private eyes’ that allow him to see beyond the way things seem. The chronic depression he has suffered all his life has made him neurotic and hyper-sensitive. To someone like Wu Chen, everything signifies something – even a spiderweb is no mere spiderweb.
The hunter soon becomes the hunted when three corpses are found in the Dead Zone. Taiwan has never seen a serial killer, and Wu Chen is stunned to find himself the police’s prime suspect . . .
A detective story that doubles as a clever social satire, Chi Wei-jan’s bestselling debut novel was reprinted four times in its first two months of publication, and won nearly every major literary award in Taiwan.