University of Pittsburgh
March 20, 2003

Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series Hosts Novelist Chang-Rae Lee April 3

Contact:  412-624-4147

Novelist Chang-Rae Lee will speak as part of the University of Pittsburgh Writing Program's Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series (PCWS) at 8:30 p.m. April 3 in Room 125 of the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. Lee is the final speaker in this year's free lecture series.

Lee, the director of the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) program at Hunter College of City University of New York (CUNY), is the author of two books, Native Speaker (Riverhead Books, 1995), and A Gesture Life (Riverhead Books, 1999). Native Speaker, which delves into an Asian American's arduous task of assimilating into society while at the same time distinguishing his own identity, was widely praised for Lee's honest and expressive prose. Among other accolades, Lee received the PEN/Hemingway Award, the American Book Award, and the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, while Time magazine named Native Speaker one of The Year's Best Books of 1995.

In addition to his novels, Lee's work has been published in a wide array of publications, including The Best American Essays, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and numerous other anthologies.

A first-generation Korean American, Lee immigrated to the United States with his family when he was three years old. After attending Phillips Exeter Academy, Lee earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Yale University and the M.F.A. degree in writing from the University of Oregon.

As director of the M.F.A. program at Hunter College of CUNY, Lee teaches writing workshops and seminars in literature. Lee also is researching and working on his third novel.

Pitt's Asian Studies Program, the Book Center, and the Wyndham Garden Hotel-University Place cosponsor the Contemporary Writers Series.