How to pronounce Celeste Ng: ing
Celeste Ng grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio, in a family of scientists. She attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan), where she won the Hopwood Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in One Story, TriQuarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, the Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere, and she is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and son.
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Celeste Ng discusses how she tackled the death of a favorite child in her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You.
What compelled you to write this book?
My stories almost always begin with imagesin this case, the image of a young girl falling into deep water. I started writing to figure out how she got there: Was she pushed? Did she slip? Did she jump? As I wrote my way into the book, I discovered it was a story about not just the girl but about her family, her family's history, and everything in her life that had led her to this pointand about whether (and how) her family would be able to go on. What seemed like the end of the story actually turned out to be the center.
The discovery of Lydia's death spurs so many questions for her family. How did you approach writing about loss and grief?
When you lose someone you love, especially suddenly, there's immense regret and immense selfdoubt. It's impossible not to ask yourself questions: Could you have saved them in some way? Could you, by leaving five minutes later or arriving a day earlier or saying just the right words, have changed what happened? Inevitably, you reconsider and reassess the relationship you had with that person, and it ...
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