where the writers are

Fan Wu's Biography

Member Info

Jan 2008

I was born on a state-run farm in mainland China, where my parents were exiled during the Cultural Revolution. Despite poverty and isolation, the farm provided me with boundless freedom and joy. In 1985, my parents left the farm, bringing my four older brothers and me with them, and settled in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi Province.

In the mid-90s, after graduating with a bachelor's degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Sun Yat-Sen University, I went to work in Shenzhen, the first Special Economy Zone in China, transformed from a fishing village to a bustling metropolis in ten years. During my three years there, I held varied jobs and traveled extensively, witnessing the unprecedented economic boom, as well as the cruel exploitation of workers from poor provinces and the countryside. A society torn between tradition and modernity, was how I began to view my birth country. Some of my experiences at that time later became the basis for my first novel. In 1997, a scholarship from Stanford University brought me to the U.S., and after earning a master's degree in Mass Media Studies, I joined a Silicon Valley-based high-tech company.

Prior to coming to the U.S., I wrote mainly poems and essays. I ventured into fiction in 2002, and chose to write in English because I thought it would help me become proficient in my new language. Nowadays, I write in both English and Chinese.

In 2006, my debut novel February Flowers was chosen by Picador as the inaugural book for Picador Asia, and is being translated into nine languages. My short stories have appeared in Granta and The Missouri Review. I am currently working on my second novel and a short story collection. I live in San Jose, California.

Upcoming Works

A second novel, a short story collection

Recommended Links

Publishers

Simon & Schuster (U.S.)
Doubleday (Canada)
Picador (UK & Australia & HK)
Random House Asia (Japan, Korea)