Introducing Emerging Writer Fellow: Kevin Jiang

We’re thrilled to introduce Kevin Jiang, a recipient of the Emerging Writer Fellowship of 2019-2020. The Fellowship aims to develop new, exciting voices by providing two writers per year tuition-free access to Grub classes and Muse & the Marketplace conferences.

Kevin was born in Upstate New York and grew up in the Greater Boston area. After graduating from Yale University, he taught computer science and mathematics at Phillips Academy. Besides reading books, he enjoys playing board games, laughing out loud, and talking to other humans. To get to know him better, we’ve asked Kevin a few questions below.

What author, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with and why?

Ruth Ozeki! She wrote A Tale for the Time Being, which is one of my favorite books. She’s also a Zen Buddhist priest. I want to hear more about how her Buddhist practice influences her writing and vice versa.

However, given the opportunity, not resurrecting someone feels pretty irresponsible, so maybe I could get dessert with Dostoevsky, who has, through the few things of his I’ve read, probably impacted me far more than I will ever know.


What are you reading?

I’m currently in the middle of Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee and The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst.  I just started Yiyun Li’s Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. I also recently reread the first thirty or so pages of The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, which made me want to read the whole thing again.


What is the toughest criticism to give or receive on writing?

It’s always rough when I think something is hilarious and nobody else does. I also think it’s hard to receive criticism from friends, especially if you trust their opinions.


When do you feel most like a writer?

That’s tricky for me. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt much like one. I think I still secretly hope more approval will help, even though it hasn’t really yet. I’m probably at my best when I’m not so worried about it, when I’m engaged with something I’m actually reading or writing instead.


Favorite drink?

Anything sweet and straightforward. Vanilla milkshakes. Strawberry banana smoothies. Sprite.


A huge congratulations to Kevin!

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