Xu Xi

Author, Man Asian Literary Prize Shortlist

XU XI is the author of seven books of fiction & essays, and editor of three anthologies of Hong Kong literature in English. Her new novel, Habit of a Foreign Sky, which was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, will be published in 2010. A Chinese-Indonesian native of Hong Kong, the city was home until her mid-twenties, after which she led a peripatetic existence around Europe, America and Asia. She now inhabits the flight path connecting New York, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

THE NEW YORK TIMES named her a pioneer writer from Asia in English and the VOICE OF AMERICA featured her on their Chinese TV documentary series "Cultural Odyssey." Singapore’s BUSINESS TIMES dubs her passion "Asia as it is today – gritty, modern and confused." According to reviewers, her work explains "the paradox that is Hong Kong" that avoids "the sex and drug and triad stereotypes . . . portraying the city more accurately and realistically for it." Her "new and innovative diasporic global language" is "uncluttered" and "arrestingly poignant." She is "an alchemist of observation" whose sensibility is "generous and compassionate."

Awards include an O. Henry prize story, shortlist for the inaugural MAN Asian Literary Award, Cohen Award from PLOUGHSHARES for best story, a NYFA fiction fellowship, the South China Morning Post story contest winner, among others. She has also been writer-in-residence at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, Chateau de Lavigny in Switzerland, Kulturhuset USF in Norway, the Jack Kerouac Project of Orlando and the Anderson Center in Minnesota. SUNY Plattsburgh, where she earned her BA, accorded her their distinguished alumni award in 2004. In 2009, she was the Bedell Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Iowa's nonfiction program.

For eighteen years, the author had a second career in international marketing and management with various multinationals. In 1998, she finally surrendered completely to the writing life. She holds a MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and is currently faculty chair, MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier.


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