Susan Choi

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Susan Choi
Choi at the 2019 Texas Book Festival
Choi at the 2019 Texas Book Festival
Born1969 (age 53–54)
South Bend, Indiana, U.S.
EducationYale University (BA)
Cornell University (MFA)

Susan Choi (born 1969) is an American novelist.

Early life and education[edit]

Choi was born in South Bend, Indiana to a Korean father and a Jewish mother. She attended public schools. When she was nine years old, her parents divorced. She and her mother moved to Houston, Texas. Choi earned a B.A. in Literature from Yale University (1990) and an M.F.A. from Cornell University.[1]


Choi at the 2019 National Book Festival

After receiving her graduate degree, she worked for The New Yorker as a fact checker. At this job she met her husband, Pete Wells, now the New York Times restaurant critic.[2] They reside in Brooklyn.[1]

Choi published her first novel, The Foreign Student (1998). It won the Asian American Literary Award for Fiction and was a finalist of the Discover Great New Writers Award at Barnes & Noble. Her second novel, American Woman (2003), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in literature.[3] In 2010, she won the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award for A Person of Interest, which was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2009.[4] In 2014, her fourth novel, My Education, won the Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Fiction.[5]

With David Remnick, Choi edited an anthology of short fiction entitled Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. Her latest novel is Trust Exercise (2019), which won the National Book Award.

As of May 2018, Choi is working on a novel employing conventions of memoir and reportage that "takes up the question of national identity, and the extent to which it coincides or does not coincide with ethnic and with cultural identity."[6]

She teaches creative writing at Yale University.[7]

Awards and grants[edit]



  • The Foreign Student (1998), ISBN 0-06-019149-X
  • American Woman (2003), ISBN 0-06-054221-7
  • A Person of Interest (2008), ISBN 978-0-670-01846-8
  • My Education (2013), ISBN 0670024902
  • Trust Exercise (novel) (2019), ISBN 9781250222022

Children's books[edit]

Short fiction[edit]

Anthologies (edited)
  • Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker (2000), ISBN 0-375-50356-0 (ed. with David Remnick)
Title Year First published Reprinted/collected Notes
Flashlight 2020 Choi, Susan (September 7, 2020). "Flashlight". The New Yorker. Vol. 96, no. 26. pp. 60–66.
The whale mother 2020 Choi, Susan (January 2020). "The whale mother". Harper's Magazine.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Choi, Susan (2004). American Woman. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc. pp. About the Author.
  2. ^ Parker, Ian (12 September 2016). "Knives Out: Pete Wells, the Times' Restaurant Critic, wants to have fun -- or else". The New Yorker. No. 46–55. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Finalist: American Woman, by Susan Choi (HarperCollins)". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  4. ^ Cohen, Patricia (23 September 2010). "PEN American Center Names Award Winners". New York Times — ArtsBeat.
  5. ^ "Winners of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Announced | Lambda Literary". Archived from the original on 2020-07-28.
  6. ^ "Susan Choi". Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  7. ^ "Susan Choi | Yale Creative Writing". Archived from the original on 2020-01-01. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  8. ^ "Looking for summer reading? Lambda Literary Awards rain down a host of choices". Times-Picayune, June 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "Trust Exercise". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  10. ^ "US author Choi wins £30k Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award". Books+Publishing. 2021-07-09. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  11. ^ Short stories unless otherwise noted.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]