Celeste Ng biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Celeste Ng
Photo: Kevin Day Photography

Celeste Ng

How to pronounce Celeste Ng: ing

Celeste Ng Biography

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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Interview

Celeste Ng discusses how she tackled a difficult subject - 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 images—in 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 point—and 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 can be hardest if that relationship was strained. James, Marilyn, Nath, and Hannah each feel a lot of guilt about their...

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Books by this Author

Books by Celeste Ng at BookBrowse
Little Fires Everywhere jacket Everything I Never Told You jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Celeste Ng but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Lauren Acampora

    Lauren Acampora

    Lauren Acampora's fiction has appeared in the Paris Review, Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, and Antioch Review. Raised in Connecticut, she now lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Little Fires Everywhere

    Try:
    The Wonder Garden
    by Lauren Acampora

  • Xhenet Aliu

    Xhenet Aliu

    Xhenet Aliu's debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, and Other Stories, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in Glimmer Train, The Barcelona Review, American Short ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Little Fires Everywhere

    Try:
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu

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Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

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