Celeste Ng

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Celeste Ng
Ng at 2018 National Book Festival
BornPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
OccupationNovelist, short story writer
ResidenceCambridge, Massachusetts[1]
EducationHarvard University
University of Michigan

Celeste Ng (/sɪˈlɛst ɪŋ/;[2] Chinese name: 伍綺詩) (born 1980) is an American author.[3][4][1] Her first novel, Everything I Never Told You, was the Amazon Book of the year in 2014, and her short story, Girls at Play, won a Pushcart Prize in 2012.[3] Ng's second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, was published in 2017. In March 2018, Entertainment Weekly proclaimed that Ng has become "the novelist of the moment."[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Ng was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1980.[3] Her parents moved to the US from Hong Kong in the late 1960s.[3] Her father, who died in 2004, was a physicist who worked for NASA at the Glenn Research Center, while her mother was a chemist who taught at Cleveland State University.[1]

When Ng was ten her family moved from Pittsburgh to Shaker Heights, Ohio, and she attended the schools in the Shaker Heights City School District.[1] At Shaker Heights High School, Ng was involved with the student group on race relations for three years, and was co-editor of the school's literary magazine, Semanteme. She graduated from high school in 1998.[1]

Ng attended Harvard University, where she completed a bachelor's degree in English in 2002.[6] She then attended graduate school at the University of Michigan's creative writing program (now the Helen Zell Writers Program), where she earned a Master of Fine Arts in writing. While at Michigan, Ng won the Hopwood Award for her short story, What Passes Over.[1][7]

Ng currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and son.[1] While on a book tour for Everything I Never Told You, Ng stated that her favorite book when she was little was Harriet the Spy, and has named The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy as one of her favorite books.[1]


Ng was a recipient of a Pushcart Prize in 2012 for her story Girls, At Play.[8] Ng's fiction has appeared in One Story, TriQuarterly, and Subtropics. Her essays have appeared in Kenyon Review Online and The Millions. Ng taught writing at the University of Michigan, and she has also taught at Grub Street in Boston.[9] Ng also was an editor of blogs at the website Fiction Writers Review for three years.[9]

Her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You: A Novel, is a literary thriller that focuses on an American family in 1970s Ohio.[10][11] The novel had four drafts and one revision before completion, which took 6 years. While working on her first novel, Ng stated that she pulled from her own experiences of racism as well as her family and friends.[12] The book, which the Los Angeles Times described as an "excellent first novel about family, love, and ambition," won Amazon book of the year in 2014.[3][13] Everything I Never Told You has also been translated into 15 languages.[14]

Ng's second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, was released on September 12, 2017, and tells the story of two families in Shaker Heights, Ohio.[15] The novel, which The New York Times has called "ambitious and accomplished"[16] is currently being adapted for an eight-episode series on Hulu, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.[17]


  • Little Fires Everywhere. Penguin Press. 2017. ISBN 978-0735224292.
  • Everything I Never Told You. Penguin Press. 2014. ISBN 159420571X.
  • Girls, At Play - Pushcart Prize 2012 Anthology (XXXVI 2012 ed.). 2012. ISBN 978-1888889635. [14]


  • "How to Be Chinese". Gulf Coast Literary Journal. 26.1. Winter/Spring 2014.
  • "Scientific Method". The New York Times Magazine. (July 5, 2014): Lifestyle: p50(L). Alt title: "What Did My Mother the Chemist See in Betty Crocker?"


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Connors, Joanna (July 9, 2014). "Writer Celeste Ng talks about growing up in Shaker Heights and her buzz novel of the summer, Everything I Never Told You". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland.com.
  2. ^ Celeste Ng
  3. ^ a b c d e Hoby, Hermione (November 17, 2014). "Amazon book of the year winner Celeste Ng: 'Writing's like shouting into the world'". The Guardian.
  4. ^ NPR Staff (June 28, 2014). "'Everything I Never Told You' Exposed in Biracial Family's Loss". NPR.
  5. ^ Canfield, David (March 23, 2018). "Celeste Ng has become the novelist of the moment". Entertainment Weekly.
  6. ^ Schraa, Eugeneia (February 14, 2002). "Let's Stay Together". The Harvard Crimson. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  7. ^ ""What Passes Over" by Celeste Ng". One story. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  8. ^ Wineberg, Ronna. "Girls, At Play". Bellevue Literary Review.
  9. ^ a b Dreifus, Erika. "Everything She Graciously Told Me: An Interview with Celeste Ng". erika dreifus. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  10. ^ Chee, Alexander (August 15, 2014). "Sunday Book Review, The Leftovers 'Everything I Never Told You,' by Celeste Ng". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Simon, Clea (July 1, 2014). "Book Review 'Everything I Never Told You' by Celeste Ng". The Boston Globe.
  12. ^ Schluep, Chris. "CelesteNgBEA". youtube.
  13. ^ Tobar, Hector (July 4, 2014). "Review 'Everything I Never Told You' a moving tale of a dysfunctional family". Los Angeles Times.
  14. ^ a b "Celeste Ng's author website". Celeste Ng. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  15. ^ "In 'Little Fires Everywhere,' Author Celeste Ng Explores 'Asianness' and Family". Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  16. ^ Henderson, Eleanor (2017-09-25). "In a Quiet Ohio Town, Who Started the Fire, and Why?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  17. ^ Barsanti, Sam. "Hulu gives series order to Reese Witherspoon's Little Fires Everywhere adaptation". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2018-03-13.

Further reading[edit]

  • "Celeste Ng". Contemporary Authors Online. Gale, Cengage Learning. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  • "Scientific Method". Literature Resource Center. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 25 March 2017.

External links[edit]