Meet the 2018 faculty: Lan Samantha Chang

Posted by on July 30th, 2018

Lan Samantha Chang is the author of All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost (2010), Inheritance (2004), and Hunger (1998). In addition to being translated into nine languages, her works have also appeared in Ploughshares, The Atlantic, and twice chosen for Best American Short Stories. Chang’s work was nominated for the PEN Center USA West Award and the PEN/Hemingway Literature Prize. She has received the Wallace Stegner and Truman Capote fellowships at Stanford, and the Teaching-Writing fellowship and Michener-Copernicus fellowships at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, as well as fellowships from Princeton University, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chang received degrees from Yale and Harvard before attending the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received her MFA. She has taught at Harvard, Stanford, and Warren Wilson College. In 2005, she became the fifth director of the eminent Iowa Writers’ Workshop: the first woman and Asian American to do so.

Chang’s 2004 novel Inheritance is a sweeping, intergenerational saga through which flows the deep waters of sisterhood, heritage, culture, and identity. Her newest work, All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost, which contrasts the experience of two poets, is described by NPR reviewer Alan Cheuse as: “a full and resonant story of the pains and perils, falsehoods and truths of trying to be an American artist, in this case poet, against all odds, psychological and social.” The novel is the product of a creative mind about the creative experience. Chang says: “I wanted to write about a powerful feeling I’ve had as an adult: the sense of becoming aware of a truth long after it was too late to do anything about it. This feeling, akin to waking up after a dream, is central to my experience, and it seems to come after periods of great blindness, or lack of attention—periods that can last for decades.”

Lan Samantha Chang will be lecturing on “Writing Large” at 1:30 p.m. on July 29. She will also give a reading on August 1 at Robert Mondavi Winery. Don’t miss either of these, and visit the Literary Events page for information on how to attend!

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