Creative Writing, Contemporary Fiction, Novels, Short Stories, Journal Editing


Don Lee received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2023. His most recent book, the story collection The Partition, was longlisted for The Story Prize. He is also the author of novel Lonesome Lies Before Us; the novel The Collective, which won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature from the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association; the novel Wrack and Ruin, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize; the novel Country of Origin, which won an American Book Award, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and a Mixed Media Watch Image Award for Outstanding Fiction; and the story collection Yellow, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Members Choice Award from the Asian American Writers' Workshop. 

He has received an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize, and his stories have been published in One Story, The Sewanee Review, VQR, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, GQ, The Gettysburg Review, Manoa, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. His book reviews and essays have appeared in LitHub, Electric Literature, The Stranger, The Boston Globe, Harvard Review, Boston magazine, The Village Voice, and other magazinesHe has received fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and residencies from Yaddo and the Lannan Foundation.

For many years, he was the principal editor of the literary journal Ploughshares. Since 2009, he has been teaching in the MFA program at Temple University and is currently the program director. He founded TINGE Magazine, Temple’s graduate student–run online literary journal, in 2011. He has served as an independent consultant for Bamboo Ridge, The Georgia Review, New England Review, AGNI, and CLMP. He is currently an advisory editor for American Short Fiction. In 2019, he was a fiction faculty member at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

He is a third-generation Korean American. The son of a career State Department officer, he spent the majority of his childhood in Tokyo and Seoul. In Tokyo, he attended ASIJ—the American School in Japan. He received his BA in English literature from UCLA and his MFA in creative writing and literature from Emerson College.

He is married to the fiction writer Jane Delury and lives near Baltimore.


Selected Publications

  • The Partition: Stories (Akashic, 2022) 
  • Lonesome Lies Before Us (W. W. Norton, 2017)    
  • The Collective: A Novel (W. W. Norton, 2012)
  • Wrack and Ruin: A Novel (W. W. Norton, 2008)
  • Country of Origin: A Novel (W. W. Norton, 2004)
  • Yellow: Stories (W. W. Norton, 2001)

Courses Taught

  • Fiction Workshop
  • Manuscript Tutorial
  • Special Topics: Journal Editing
  • Special Topics: The Contemporary Short Novel
  • Studies in Creative Writing
  • Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction