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Gish Jen Return to the Timeline
Gish Jen
Gish Jen on park bench in New York City, March 1991.

Steve Liss/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

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Gish Jen, the novelist and short story writer, was born in Long Island, New York in 1955. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in English and obtained her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Her books -- TYPICAL AMERICAN, MONA IN THE PROMISED LAND, WHO'S IRISH?, and, most recently, THE LOVE WIFE -- are widely taught; TYPICAL AMERICAN was a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award. Her work has also been published in THE NEW YORKER, THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY, THE NEW REPUBLIC, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in numerous textbooks and anthologies, including THE HEATH ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE, THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF LITERATURE BY WOMEN, AND THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES OF THE CENTURY, edited by John Updike.

Jen has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Lannan Award in Literature. She currently holds the Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Biography of Gish Jen provided by the Maxine Groffsky Literary Agency and is used with permission.

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The American Novel