Gish Jen

Biography of Gish Jen

Gish Jen, born Lillian Jen in 1955, is a contemporary American writer.

Gish Jen is a second generation Chinese American. Her parents emigrated from China in the 1940s, her mother from Shanghai and her father from Yixing. Born in Long Island, New York, she grew up in Queens, then Yonkers, then Scarsdale. Her birth name is Lillian, but during her high school years she acquired the nickname Gish, named for actress Lillian Gish.

She graduated from Harvard University in 1977 with a BA in English, and later attended Stanford Business School (1979-1980), but dropped out in favor of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she earned her MFA in fiction in 1983.

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