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Author and Illustrator Gene Luen Yang on Growing Up Between Two Cultures

As a kid, Author and Illustrator Gene Luen Yang often felt “in between.” In between in his community as someone of Chinese-American heritage; in between at school, not fitting in with one particular clique; and in between the action as a quiet, observer of a kid. Most of his books, as is the case with a lot of young adult fiction, are based on the theme of finding oneself. And as modern America seems to change so fast these days, kids and adults are refinding themselves in young adult books.

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Gene Luen Yang

Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Nonfiction, Graphic Novels

Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang writes, and sometimes draws, comic books and graphic novels. American Born Chinese  — a memoir about growing up as an Asian American — became the first graphic novel to win the American Library Association’s Printz Award and a National Book Award finalist. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints  won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award finalist. His other works include Dragon Hoops , the Secret Coders series  (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero  (with Sonny Liew), New Super-Man from DC Comics (with various artists), and the Avatar: The Last Airbender  series from Dark Horse Comics (with Gurihiru) and Superman Smashes the Klan (with Gurihiru).

In 2016, Yang was named the 5th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and selected as a MacArthur Fellow.