Episode description

In this episode we speak to author T.C. Locke about his new book “Barbarian at the Gate: From the American Suburbs to the Taiwanese Army,” which recounts his experience serving in the Taiwanese military in the mid-90s as a U.S. born Caucasian.

After gaining citizenship in Taiwan in 1994 Locke spent two years in the army mostly served in the guard company at a base in Miaoli.

In the interview we discuss what it was about Taiwan that moved Locke to renounce his U.S. citizenship and also how his experiences in the army helped him integrate into Taiwanese society.

You can learn more about his book through its publisher Camphor Press.

Pictured: T.C. Locke in uniform

Recommended reading

Here’s his personal website, which features a blog and info on his photography and film work (yes, he does those things too):

Here’s a 2003 article about Locke from the Taipei Times: Unusual soldier learned how to go by the book

And here’s a 2002 Taipei Times article about him. This one gives some details on how his adopted family helped him become a Taiwanese citizen – didn’t have time to go into that in the interview: Atypical Taiwanese

Recommending a wikipedia page feels a little lazy on my part, but this one is actually pretty well filled out and has lots of great info:

Incidentally, the publisher for this book, Camphor Press, is a new publishing company in Taiwan, and from the looks of it will be a pretty great source of ideas and information about Taiwan and the surrounding region. The April issue of Centered on Taipei features an interview with Camphor Press co-founder Michael Cannings on page 26: Get the pdf  here.

**This list is intended for anyone trying to learn more about this week’s topic. If you feel like I missed something, please let me know in the comments, and if it seems relevant I’ll add it in.

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You can learn more about Taiwan Talk at the show page here.

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