Don Lee has written numerous books including Wrack and Ruin, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize; the novel Country of Origin, which won an American Book Award, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and a Mixed Media Watch Image Award for Outstanding Fiction; and the story collection Yellow, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Members Choice Award from the Asian American Writers' Workshop.
Lee has received an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize, and his stories have been published in The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, GQ, The North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, Manoa, American Short Fiction, Glimmer Train, Charlie Chan Is Dead 2, Screaming Monkeys, Narrative and elsewhere. His book reviews and essays have appeared in The Boston Globe, Harvard Review, Boston Magazine, The Village Voice, and other magazines. He has received fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the St. Botolph Club Foundation, and residencies from Yaddo and the Lannan Foundation. In 2007, he received the inaugural Fred R. Brown Literary Award for emerging novelists from the University of Pittsburgh's creative writing program.
From 1988 to 2007, he was the principal editor of the literary journal Ploughshares. From 2007 to 2008, he was an associate professor of creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. From 2008 to 2009, he was an associate professor in Western Michigan University's graduate creative writing program, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In the fall of 2009, he began teaching as a professor in Temple University's M.F.A. program in creative writing in Philadelphia, where he founded TINGE Magazine, a graduate student-run online literary journal. He is currently the director of the M.F.A. program.
Lee is a third-generation Korean American. The son of a career State Department officer, he spent the majority of his childhood in Tokyo and Seoul. In Tokyo, he attended ASIJ - the American School in Japan. He received his B.A. in English literature from UCLA and his M.F.A. in creative writing and literature from Emerson College. After graduating, he taught fiction writing workshops at Emerson for four years as an adjunct instructor, then began working full-time at Ploughshares.
This biography was last updated on 07/25/2012.
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In the video below, Don Lee, author of The Collective, talks about cultural identity, authorial obligation, and the courage it takes to follow your dreams.
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