B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1971
M.A., San Francisco State University, 1974
Creative Writing and Asian American Studies
Shawn Wong's second novel, American Knees, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1995 (Scribner paperback, 1996; reissued by University of Washington Press, 2005). The film version of American Knees, titled "Americanese," was released in 2013 (directed by Eric Byler). The film won several film festival awards and Wong served as associate producer (www.americanknees.com).
Wong has also been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship and a Rockefeller Foundation residency in Italy. He has won several writing awards including a first prize from the Society of Professional Journalists in the humor category in 1997. Wong was featured in the 1997 PBS documentary, “Shattering the Silences” and in the Bill Moyers’ PBS documentary, “Becoming American: The Chinese Experience,” in 2003.
Wong's first novel, Homebase (Reed and Cannon, 1979; reissued by Plume/NAL, 1990 and again by the University of Washington Press in 2008), won both the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the 15th Annual Governor's Writers Day Award of Washington. He is also the co-editor and editor of six Asian American and American multicultural literary anthologies including the pioneering anthology Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian American Writers (Howard University Press, 1974; reprinted in four different editions, most recently by Meridian in 1997) and, The Big Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Chinese America and Japanese America in Literature (Meridian/NAL, 1991) and Literary Mosaic: Asian American Literature (HarperCollins, 1995). and Asian Diasporas: Cultures, Identities, Representations (Hong Kong University Press, 2004). He is co-editor of Before Columbus Foundation Fiction/Poetry Anthology: Selections from the American Book Awards, 1980-1990, two volumes of contemporary American multicultural poetry and fiction (W. W. Norton, 1992).
Along with actor Tom Skerritt, Wong is one of the founding teachers of The Red Badge Project (theredbadgeproject.org), an organization dedicated to teaching storytelling techniques to soldiers and veterans: “For Wounded Warriors struggling to heal the invisible wounds of PTSD, Anxiety and Depression, believing in the value of their story and finding the means to communicate it to family, friends and community.”
Wong received his undergraduate degree in English at the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. Wong has taught at several colleges and universities since 1972, including Mills College, University of California at Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University. He is currently Professor of English at the University of Washington where he served as Chair of the Department of English from 1997 to 2002, and Director of the Creative Writing Program from 1995 to 1997, and Director of the University Honors Program from 2003 to 2006. In addition, Wong has taught at the Universität Tübingen (Germany), Jean Moulin Université (Lyon), and at the University of Washington Rome Center (Italy).