Alum, Novelist Shawn Wong Speaks in Oysterville, Washington

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
CHINOOK OBSERVER -- When Shawn Hsu Wong was growing up in Oakland, in the 1950s, kids would ask him, “What are you: Chinese, Japanese or Americanese?” Sometimes they asked if he was “Chinese, Japanese or dirty knees?” Now an author and professor of English at the University of Washington, Wong looks back at those taunts and remarks, “I never really knew what that meant when I was a kid, but I knew I didn’t like it.” Many years later, in 1996, Wong titled his second novel, “American Knees,” published by Simon & Schuster. It was adapted into an independent film entitled “Americanese” in 2010. His first novel, “Homebase,” was published in 1979 and reissued in 1990. He is also co-editor of six multicultural literary anthologies. Wong is Chinese American and a pioneer of Asian American studies. He received his undergraduate degree in English at the University of California, Berkeley (1971), and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University (1974).