Alexander Chee

"The only things you must have to become a writer are the stamina to continue and a wily, cagey heart in the face of extremity, failure, and success."

Alexander Chee is a Korean-American writer, poet, reviewer, and renowned essayist who writes honestly and fiercely on subjects such as race, gender, and LGBTQ+ issues. He is also an activist for the AIDS advocacy organization, ACT UP.

Alexander Chee’s debut novel, Edinburgh, for which he won a Whiting Award, was critically acclaimed and praised for its careful handling on the difficult subject of sexual abuse. It was the winner of the James Michener/Copernicus Society Fellowship Prize, Iowa Writers' Workshop's Michener Copernicus Prize in Fiction, and was the recipient of the Lambda Literary Foundation Editor’s Choice Award. His second novel, Queen of the Night, a historical novel about a female opera singer, was published nearly fifteen years later in 2016 and was met with high praise. It was named it “epic” by Vogue and The Washington Post wrote that it is, “extraordinarily beautiful and dramatic, a brilliant performance.”

His essay “Girl,” which deals with gender identity, appeared in the 2016 edition of Best American Essays, and his first collection of essays, How To Write An Autobiographical Novel, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2018.

Alexander lives in New York City, where he curates the Dear Reader series at Ace Hotel New York. He has a fondness for elaborate breakfasts which he makes himself.

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