Alexander Kuo

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Alexander Kuo (born 1941? in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American teacher, poet, fiction writer, and essayist.[1] He was a Professor of English at Washington State University, retired in 2012, and has taught in numerous academic institutions in China, including Beijing and Changchun universities. In 2002 he won an American Book Award for his Lipstick and Other Stories of the Before Columbus Foundation.

Early life and education[edit]

Of Chinese-American ancestry and born in Boston, Massachusetts, Alexander Kuo received his B.A. from Knox College in Illinois in 1961,[2] where he studied with Sam Moon and Gogisi. He earned an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa, where he studied in the Iowa Writer's Workshop with Donald Justice and Philip Roth.


He was a professor of English at Washington State University (WSU), which lists him as an example of their "world class faculty."[3] He is the former chair of the Department of Comparative American Cultures[4] (now called Comparative Ethnic Studies).[5] In 2001, WSU named him their first Writer-in-Residence.[6]

He has been a mentor to the notable Native American writer Sherman Alexie.[7]



His writing makes demands on the reader in a way comparable to Franz Kafka or Jorge Luis Borges.[9]



  • The Window Tree (1974)
  • New Letters from Hiroshima, and Other Poems (1974)
  • Changing the River (1986)
  • This Fierce Geography (1998)


  • Chinese Opera (novel, 1998)
  • Lipstick and Other Stories (short stories, 2001)
  • Panda Diaries (novel, 2006)
  • White Jade and Other Stories (short stories, 2008)
  • The Man Who Dammed the Yangtze: A Mathematical Novel (novel, 2011)


  1. ^ Alex Kuo, "Damming the American West", Bluefish website, 2003
  2. ^ "Poet Alex Kuo Judges Writing Awards"
  3. ^ "Future Students: Why WSU?"
  4. ^ Natascha Karlova, "On Lipstick, Rodeo Queens, Creative Compatibility, and Making a Difference," Ask. Magazine WSU College of Liberal Arts (December 2002), p.15.
  5. ^ CAE Homepage
  6. ^ WSU Press Release [1] (June 2001)
  7. ^ WSU Press Release [2] (January 1999)[dead link]
  8. ^ "ABE List of Winners"
  9. ^ Robert H. Abel, "Review of 'Lipstick and Other Stories'," Asian Review of Books (March 2001)

External links[edit]