Celeste Ng

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Celeste Ng
Ng in 2018
Ng in 2018
Born (1980-07-30) July 30, 1980 (age 39)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
OccupationNovelist, writer
Alma materHarvard University
University of Michigan

Celeste Ng (Chinese: 伍綺詩) (born July 30, 1980)[1] is an American writer and novelist.[2][3][4] She has released many short stories that have been published in a variety of literary journals.[5] Ng's first novel, Everything I Never Told You, was released on June 26, 2014 and has won many awards, such as Amazon Book of the Year[2] as well as praise from critics. Ng's short story Girls at Play won a Pushcart Prize in 2012, and was a 2015 recipient of the Alex Awards. Her most recent novel is Little Fires Everywhere. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2020.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Celeste Ng was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[2] Celeste Ng's parents moved from Hong Kong in the late 60s.[2] Her father, who died in 2004, was a physicist at NASA in the John H Glenn Research Center (formally known as the NASA Lewis Research Center).[4] Celeste’s mother was a chemist who taught at Cleveland State University.[4]

When Ng was ten she moved from Pittsburgh to Shaker Heights, Ohio[4] with her parents and sister (who is now an engineer).[7] She attended the schools in the Shaker Heights City School District, from Woodbury elementary all the way up to Shaker Heights High School.[4] While attending Shaker Heights High School, Ng was involved with the student group on race relations for three years as well as being a co-editor of the school's literary magazine, Semanteme.[4] She graduated from high school in 1998.

After graduating from high school, Ng went on to study English at Harvard University. She then attended graduate school at University of Michigan, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts in writing, now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. While attending the University of Michigan, Ng won the Hopwood Award for her short story, What Passes Over.[4][8]

Ng now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and son.[4] 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.[7] Currently her favorite book is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.[4]


Ng was a recipient of the Pushcart Prize in 2012 for her story Girls, At Play.[9] Ng's fiction has appeared in One Story, TriQuarterly, Subtropics, and more. Her essays have appeared in Kenyon Review Online, The Millions, and elsewhere. Ng taught writing at the University of Michigan, and she has also taught at Grub Street in Boston.[10] Ng also was an editor of blogs at the website Fiction Writers Review for three years.[10]

Her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You: A Novel, is a literary thriller that focuses on an American family in 1970s Ohio.[11][12] The novel had four drafts and one revision before completion, which took 6 years. While working on her first novel, Celeste Ng stated that she pulled from her own experiences of racism as well as her family and friends.[13] 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[2][14] and was a New York Times Notable Book of 2014.[15] Everything I Never Told You has also translated into 15 languages.[5]

Ng's second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, is set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and follows two families, one being a mother and daughter, that challenges the boundaries in the town.[7][13] The novel was developed into a 2020 Hulu miniseries of the same name starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington; Ng also serves as one of the show's producers.


  • Everything I Never Told You: A Novel. Penguin Press. 2014. ISBN 159420571X.
  • GIRLS, AT PLAY - PUSHCART PRIZE 2012 ANTHOLOGY (XXXVI 2012 ed.). 2012. ISBN 978-1888889635. [5]
  • Little Fires Everywhere: A Novel (2017)


  1. ^ "Celeste Ng - Knowledge & Wisdom". newengland.com. Yankee Publishing, Inc. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ NPR Staff (June 28, 2014). "'Everything I Never Told You' Exposed in Biracial Family's Loss". NPR.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i 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.
  5. ^ a b c "Celeste Ng's author website". Celeste Ng. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  6. ^ "Guggenheim Fellowship in 2020".
  7. ^ a b c Politics and Prose. "Celeste Ng, "Everything I Never Told You"". youtube. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  8. ^ ""What Passes Over" by Celeste Ng". One story. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  9. ^ Wineberg, Ronna. "Girls, At Play". Bellevue Literary Review.
  10. ^ a b Dreifus, Erika. "Everything She Graciously Told Me: An Interview with Celeste Ng". erika dreifus. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  11. ^ Chee, Alexander (August 15, 2014). "Sunday Book Review, The Leftovers 'Everything I Never Told You,' by Celeste Ng". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Simon, Clea (July 1, 2014). "Book Review 'Everything I Never Told You' by Celeste Ng". The Boston Globe.
  13. ^ a b Schluep, Chris. "CelesteNgBEA". youtube.
  14. ^ Tobar, Hector (July 4, 2014). "Review 'Everything I Never Told You' a moving tale of a dysfunctional family". Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ Ng, Celeste. "PRAISE FOR EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU". Celeste Ng.

External links[edit]