Creative Writing Assistant Professor May-lee Chai on the Determined Strength of Women

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

NEW ENGLAND REVIEW -- May-lee Chai is the author of 10 books of fiction, nonfiction and translation, including her latest short story collection, “Useful Phrases for Immigrants” (Blair, 2018), recipient of a 2019 American Book Award. She teaches in the MFA program at San Francisco State University. Her writing has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman (selected by Tayari Jones), a Jack Dyer Fiction Prize, an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and others.

“My writing is definitely one tool that I use to fight against stereotypes and to fight the anti-Chinese/anti-Asian racism,” Chai said. “It’s one way that I can center my humanity. So much of this election season has been a painful reminder that we Asian Americans are still seen as eternal foreigners in our own country and as threats to the U.S.”