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Asian American Pacific Islander Voices

AAPI Month

Rebecca F. Kuang

Rebecca F. Kuang is the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Poppy War trilogy and Babel: An Arcane History, as well as the forthcoming Yellowface. She has an MPhil in Chinese Studies from Cambridge and an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from Oxford; she is now pursuing a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale.

Celeste Ng

Celeste grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio. She graduated from Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan).  Her fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, and many other publications, and she is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other honors.

Ocean Vuong

Born in Saigon, Vietnam and raised in Hartford, Connecticut in a working class family of nail salon and factory laborers, he was educated at nearby Manchester Community College before transferring to Pace University to study International Marketing. Without completing his first term, he dropped out of Business school and enrolled at Brooklyn College, where he graduated with a BA in Nineteenth Century American Literature. He subsequently received his MFA in Poetry from NYU. 

He currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts and serves as a tenured Professor in the Creative Writing MFA Program at NYU.

Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1949. He grew up in Kobe and then moved to Tokyo, where he attended Waseda University. After college, Murakami opened a small jazz bar, which he and his wife ran for seven years.

His first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won the Gunzou Literature Prize for budding writers in 1979. He followed this success with two sequels, Pinball, 1973 and A Wild Sheep Chase, which all together form “The Trilogy of the Rat.”

Murakami is also the author of the novels Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the WorldNorwegian WoodDance Dance DanceSouth of the BorderWest of the Sun; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; Sputnik SweetheartKafka on the ShoreAfter Dark1Q84; and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. He has written three short story collections: The Elephant VanishesAfter the Quake; and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman; and an illustrated novella, The Strange Library.

Additionally, Murakami has written several works of nonfiction. After the Hanshin earthquake and the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack in 1995, he interviewed surviving victims, as well as members of the religious cult responsible. From these interviews, he published two nonfiction books in Japan, which were selectively combined to form Underground. He also wrote a series of personal essays on running, entitled What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

The most recent of his many international literary honors is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V. S. Naipaul. Murakami’s work has been translated into more than fifty languages.

Han Kang

Han Kang was born in Gwangju in 1970. Since the age of ten, She grew up in Suyuri, Seoul after her family moved there. She studied Korean literature at Yonsei University. She made her literary debut as a poet by publishing five poems, including “Winter in Seoul”, in the winter issue of Munhak-gwa-sahoe (Literature and Society) in 1993. She began her career as a novelist the next year by winning the 1994 Seoul Shinmun Spring Literary Contest with “Red Anchor”. She published her first short story collection entitled Yeosu (Munji Publishing Company) in 1995. She participated in the University of Iowa International Writing Program for three months in 1998 with support from the Arts Council Korea.

Her publications include a short story collection, Fruits of My Woman (2000), Fire Salamander (2012); novels such as Black Deer (1998), Your Cold Hands (2002), The Vegetarian (2007), Breath Fighting (2010), and Greek Lessons (2011), Human Acts (2014), The White Book (2016), I Do Not Bid Farewell (2021). A poem collection, I put the evening in the drawer (2013) was published as well.

She won the 25th Korean Novel Award with the novella, “Baby Buddha” in 1999, the 2000 Today’s Young Artist Award by Culture Ministry Korea, the 2005 YiSang Literary Award with “Mongol Spot”, and the 2010 Dongri Literary Award with The Wind is Blowing. She was awarded Manhae literary prize for Human Acts (2014) and Hwang Sun-won literary award (2015) for the novella While One Snowflake Melts. Her recent novella Farewell won the Kim Yujung Literary Prize.(2018). The Vegetarian won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. Atti umani (Human Acts) won the 2017 Malaparte Prize in Italy. She was awarded San Clemete Prize for The Vegetarian in spain(2019). She was selected as the fifth writer for the Future Library project in Norway in 2019. “Dear Son, My Beloved,”will be held in the Deichman Library in Oslo until its scheduled publication in 2114.

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