Lan Samantha Chang

Lan Samantha Chang

Fellow: Awarded 2008
Field of Study: Fiction

Competition: US & Canada

University of Iowa

Lan Samantha Chang catapulted herself to the forefront of young fiction writers in 1998 with the publication of Hunger: A Novella and Stories (Norton; rpt., Penguin, 2000).  Hunger gathered together some of her earliest stories, such as "Pipa’s Story," which appeared in the  Atlantic Monthly in 1993 and was selected for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories 1994, and New House, which won a Henfield Foundation/Transatlantic Review award in 1994, as well as new works. She continued writing and revising stories for the collection during a lengthy term at Stanford University, first as a Stegner Fellow (1993-94) and Truman Capote Fellow (1994-95), and finally as Jones Lecturer in Fiction (1995-98). Hunger received the Southern Review book award, the Silver Medal for Fiction California Book Award, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award for Fiction, the Banta Award for Literature, and the PEN/Hemingway/Ucross Prize; it was subsequently translated into Dutch, Norwegian, German, and Spanish. 

With initial support from a Michener-Copernicus Fellowship, and later from a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award (1998), Ms. Chang then travelled to China to begin to research her next project, a work of historical fiction entitled Inheritance: A Novel, the idea for which had been gestating since her term as a Stegner Fellow. After almost a decade of writing and revising, supported by an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship in Prose, an Alfred Hodder Fellowship from the Princeton Council on the Humanities (1999-2000), a Radcliffe Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard (2000-01), and fellowships from Ucross (1999), the MacDowell Colony (2003), and Yaddo (2004), it was published by Norton in 2004, and went into a second edition in 2005.  Like Hunger, it also received  worldwide exposure, being translated into six languages; in addition, it was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection and won the PEN Beyond Margins Award for the Novel from the PEN American Center.

Ms. Chang is currently a member of the fiction faculty in the M.F.A. Program at Warren Wilson College, a position she has held since 2000; since 2006 she has also been a professor of English and Creative Writing and the director of the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Iowa.   Previously she had been a Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Iowa, where she had earned her M.F.A. in 1993. She has also taught at Harvard University, as the Briggs Copeland Lecturer in Creative Writing (2002-05); during the last year of her time there she was also the fiction editor for the Harvard Review.

During her term as a Guggenheim Fellow, Lan Samantha Chang will be continuing work on the three linked novellas that will form All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost, to be published by Norton.

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