Competition: US & Canada
University of California, Santa Barbara
Yunte Huang grew up in a small town in southeastern China, where at the age of eleven he began to learn English by secretly listening to Voice of America programs on a battered transistor radio. After receiving his B.A. in English from Peking University, Huang came to the United States in 1991, landing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a struggling Chinese restaurateur in the Deep South, he continued to study American literature, reading William Faulkner, Ezra Pound, and Emily Dickinson on the greasy kitchen floor.
Huang became an assistant professor of English at Harvard in 1999 after receiving his Ph.D. from the Poetics Program in Buffalo (SUNY, University at Buffalo). Currently a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Huang is the author of many books and translations, including the bestselling Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History (W.W. Norton, 2010), which won the Edgar Award and was the finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His articles have been published in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Daily Beast, and others.