“When Stephanie and I first realized we were in love, I gave her the talk: Specifically, that as much as I loved her, I’d always also love Taiwan, and if she stayed with me she’d have to share me with the other love of my life. Formosa Moon is a chronicle of our open-ended journey, an adventure designed to seduce Stephanie into falling in love with Taiwan.”
Notes from a Small Island meets Eat Pray Love on the Tropic of Cancer, Formosa Moon is a dual-voiced cultural exploration around Taiwan undertaken by a couple, he a veteran guidebook writer intimately familiar with the island and she, a first-time visitor who’s reluctantly agreed to relocate sight unseen.
Part travelogue, part guidebook, Formosa Moon follows the couple as they travel around the island seeking cultural exploration on a deeper level, abandoning themselves to its quirky people, convoluted history and boundless eccentricity.
Formosa Moon inspires readers to explore Taiwan on a deeper level while simultaneously offering practical information on visiting – and perhaps even expatriating to – one of Asia’s most under-the-radar destinations.
Publisher: Things Asian Press (http://www.thingsasianpress.com/)
Publication Date: October 1, 2018.
#1 Release in Taiwan Travel Guides
Target Audience: Travelers and readers of guidebooks and travel literature. Readers specifically interested in Taiwan and expatriate life in general. Taiwanese readers interested in seeing Taiwan through western eyes (Chinese translation planned for 2018).
Reviews for Formosa Moon
“Joshua Samuel Brown and Stephanie Huffman have pulled off something remarkable: A love letter to Taiwan grounded in deep experience and fresh eyes. A beautiful book for the beautiful island. “
Andrew Leonard, Salon.com
“Pure delight. Read it for the quirky, entertaining, and wholly unique stories. Stay for the original insights of a seasoned traveler and the unwitting generous accomplice he talks into accompanying him. Their dueling reflections and perspectives, presented in an unconventional he said/she said format draws you into every page.”
Doug McLennan, Arts Journal
“What a delight! Joshua Samuel Brown and Stephanie Huffman offer readers an affectionate, clear-eyed view of Taiwan that highlights its complexities, its eccentricities, and its wonders. Structured as a dual-voiced narrative, Formosa Moon is as much the story of a relationship forged by the act of travel as it is about Taiwan. A must-read for both returning and first-time visitors to Taiwan.”
Shawna Yang Ryan, Author Water Ghosts, Green Island
“By rights, a Far East travelogue written by a couple of aging American flower children should rank highly on the Books Not To Publish list. But Joshua is a veteran Gonzo journalist and his partner Stephanie a courageous ingénue with a taste for the weird. The result is a clever, offbeat and very funny introduction to Taiwan that’s hard to beat for sheer readability. A must for any Taiwan lover’s bookshelf or fan of well-done travel writing in general.”
Nury Vittachi, Author of The Feng Shui Detective, The Curious Diary of Mr. Jam, The Kama Sutra of Business.
“Formosa Moon is more than just another wonderful travel book about Taiwan. It is armchair travel at its finest with a delightful He Says/She Says twist. Like the beautiful island itself, Formosa Moon will surprise and delight you at every turn. You don’t have to know Taiwan or even have any plans to ever visit the place to love this book. But after reading Formosa Moon you might feel compelled to make the trip yourself.”
Eve Brown-Waite, First Comes Love, then Comes Malaria.
“While this is a book about travel and about place, having been co-authored by a couple also makes it a book about relationships (my personal specialty.) From the first pages, you get a glimpse not only of what planning a life-changing move is like, but what it means to negotiate for your needs in a relationship.”
Stella Harris, Sex educator, coach, and author of Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink, and Relationships
“Like the island nation at its center, Formosa Moon is a delightful enigma, a memoir of love, travel and resettlement, and a permission slip to chuck it all, and move halfway around the world to save your soul. Or at least to look for it. Josh and Stephanie are seekers above all else, and as they seek out and reveal Taiwan’s cultural curiosities and natural gifts they’ll inspire you to travel (preferably to Taiwan), listen deeply, and never, ever take yourself too seriously.”
“Formosa Moon is two endearingly peculiar love stories between three characters told as a travelogue. The tale of the couple’s cautiously blossoming romance is told alternately from each person’s point of view as they’re seduced by Taiwan’s bizarrely heartwarming charm. The story is filled with surprising serendipity, such as holiday celebration with an excessively-athletic and disarmingly kind local cult, and a visit to a traditional Chinese fortune teller who predicts that Stephanie will cuckold Joshua and encourages the couple the accept this fate with unusual enthusiasm. Charming, endearing, and effortlessly readable, Formosa Moon can only be summed up with one phrase: it’s not what you expect.”
Matt Gibson, XpatMatt
Over the last few decades, Taiwan has attracted cool people from around the world, people drawn by our art, culture and music scene. I don’t know what first brought Joshua Samuel Brown here – he claims he was encouraged to come by the owner of a Taiwanese restaurant in New York in 1994 – but I am glad he’s chosen to settle here and write about my home.
I don’t know if this is the most exhaustive book ever written in English about Taiwan, but I feel like it might be the coolest and weirdest. It’s definitely a lot of fun.
Freddy Lim, New People’s Party Legislator / Chthonic Lead Singer
Formosa Moon is a singular book, a quirky mix of memoir, travelogue, and practical travel information. It’s well written, immensely likeable, and informed. I started the book thinking the switching of the text passages between the two authors would get old by the end, but it didn’t. Nor was it ever confusing: there are circular portrait icons of Brown and Huffman marking each change of the baton. The pairing of new eyes with an old Taiwan hand works beautifully. Of course, having a good idea and executing it effectively are two different matters. This is where Brown’s writing talents come in. He has a good nose for anecdotes, story hooks, segues, and funny phrasing.
Bookish Asia: Click here to read the full review!
Formosa Moon: A Brief Timeline
December 31, 2016: The Authors land in Taiwan and begin their grand adventure.
August 31, 2017: The manuscript is turned into the Publisher. The Waiting Game Begins!
Sometime around Lunar New Year, 2018: Advanced readers copies of Formosa Moon go out to advanced readers.
May 29, 2018: The Authors are interviewed by Four Seas, One Family.
June 6, 2018: The first review of Formosa Moon comes in from Bookish Asia!
June 9, 2018: Formosa Moon available for pre-order, reaches #1 on Amazon’s Taiwan Travel Guide List
June 16, 2018: Commonwealth Magazine runs a sneak preview of Failure and Success in Taiwan’s LA, Formosa Moon’s heartwarming Kaohsiung Chapter.
August, 2018: The authors take a much-needed vacation in Australia.
August 25, 2018: JSB is interviewed about Formosa Moon in Taiwan’s Chinese Language media.
October 9, 2018: The authors (and their puppets) are interviewed by Taiwan Today.
October 11, 2018: Formosa Moon is reviewed by New Bloom Media.
October 27, 2018: The Formosa Moon Launch Party at Taipei’s Red Room.
January 19, 2019: Joshua and Stephanie are interviewed on Portland’s own KBOO.FM