Amy Tan

Bio: Born in Oakland, California, to Chinese immigrants, Amy Tan rejected her mother’s expectations that she become a doctor and concert pianist. She chose to write fiction instead. Her novels are “The Joy Luck Club,” “The Kitchen God’s Wife,” “The Hundred Secret Senses,” “The Bonesetter’s Daughter” and “Saving Fish from Drowning,” all New York Times bestsellers and recipients of various awards. She is also the author of a memoir, two children’s books, and numerous magazine articles. Her work has been translated into 35 languages. Tan served as co-producer and co-screenwriter for the film adaptation of The Joy Luck Club. She was the creative consultant for Sagwa, an Emmy-nominated PBS children’s television series based on her book. She performed as narrator with the San Francisco Symphony and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Her short story “Immortal Heart” was published in The New Yorker and performed on stages in the U.S. and France. Her essays and stories are found in hundreds of anthologies and textbooks, and they are assigned as “required reading” in many high schools and universities. Recently, Tan wrote the libretto for “The Bonesetter’s Daughter” opera, which had its world premiere at the San Francisco Opera in September of 2008. Her other musical work for the stage is with a literary garage band, the Rock Bottom Remainders, whose members include Stephen King, Dave Barry, and Scott Turow. In spite of their dubious talent, their yearly gigs have managed to raise over a million dollars for literacy programs. Her next novel, “The Valley of Amazement,” will be published in 2012. A lifelong California resident, Tan currently lives in Sausalito.

Events: Amy Tan in Conversation with Deborah Tannen


Deborah Tannen

Bio: Deborah Tannen is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Linguistics. In addition to her seventeen academic books and over one hundred scholarly articles, she has written eight books for general audiences.  The best known of these is You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, which was on the New York Times best seller list for nearly four years, including eight months as No. 1, and has been translated into 31 languages. This is the book that brought gender differences in communication style to the forefront of public awareness. Her book Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work did for the workplace what the earlier book did for conversations at home, and was a New York Times Business best seller. Her books You Were Always Mom’s Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives and You're Wearing THAT?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation were also New York Times best sellers. Her most recent book, a memoir, is Finding My Father: His Century-Long Journey from World War I Warsaw and My Quest to Follow. Deborah Tannen is a frequent guest on television and radio news and information shows, including The Colbert Report, 20/20, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Talk Show, PBS NewsHour, Charlie Rose, Oprah, Hardball, Nightline, and many shows on CNN and NPR such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, and Fresh Air. She has been featured in and written for most major newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, USA Today, People, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

Events: Amy Tan in Conversation with Deborah Tannen


Jeremy Tiang

Bio: Jeremy Tiang (he/ they) is a novelist, playwright and literary translator. He has translated over twenty books from across the Chinese-speaking world, including novels by Yeng Pway Ngon, Yan Ge, Lo Yi-Chin, Liu Xinwu and Zhang Yueran. Most recently, his translation of Zou Jingzhi’s Ninth Building was longlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023. His plays include Salesman之死 and A Dream of Red Pavilions, and translations of plays by Chen Si’an and Wei Yu-Chia. His novel State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018, and his short story collection It Never Rains on National Day was shortlisted for the same prize. He is the co-editor with Dr. Kavita Bhanot of Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays on Translation. In 2022, Tiang was the Princeton University Translator-in-Residence and an International Booker Prize judge. He is currently a judge for the National Book Award (Translated Literature). Originally from Singapore, he now lives in Flushing, Queens.

Events: Day of Translation (2019),Day of Translation (2022)


Kim Thuy

Bio: Kim Thúy was born in 1968 in Saigon, Vietnam, but fled with her family a decade later, eventually settling in Quebec. She earned degrees from the Université de Montréal in linguistics and translation (1990) and law (1993) and has worked as a translator, interpreter, lawyer, food commentator and restaurateur. Thúy was the proprietor of a restaurant called Ru de Nam. Her debut novel Ru won the Canadian Governor General's Award for French-language fiction in 2010. Thúy recently published a cookbook in French: Le secret des Vietnamiennes (Montréal: Trécarré, 2017).

Events: Kim Thuy Visits Mason to Discuss Immigrant and Refugee Literature


Roland Tolentino

Bio: Rolando B. Tolentino is faculty of University of the Philippines Film Institute and former dean of the UP College of Mass Communication. He is Director of the UP Institute of Creative Writing where he also serves as fellow. He has taught at the Osaka University, National University of Singapore, and University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include Philippine literature, popular culture, cinema and media, interfacing national and transnational issues. He writes and has published books on fiction and creative non-fiction. He is a member of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Filipino Film Critics Group), Altermidya (People’s Alternative Media Network), and Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND-UP).

Events: Partnership with Asia Pacific Writers and Translators featuring Roland Tolentino and Jessica Faye Olayo


Monica de la Torre

Bio: Poet, translator, and scholar Mónica de la Torre was born and raised in Mexico City. She earned a BA from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and, with the support of a Fulbright scholarship, relocated to New York in 1993 to pursue an MFA and a PhD in Spanish literature at Columbia University. With dark humor, de la Torre’s poems explore our constructions of identity and trajectory. Her full-length poetry collections include Repetition Nineteen (2020), Public Domain (2008), Talk Shows (2007). She has also published the chapbooks Four (Switchback) and The Happy End (Song Cave). With artist Terence Gower, she co-authored the art book Appendices, Illustrations and Notes (1999). She frequently collaborates with artists and writers, as with Collective Task. Taller de Taquimecanografía, published in Mexico City, is the result of another collaboration. She contributed to Predictions (2009), a study of indeterminacy, and to the conceptual critical work Laureana Toledo: The Limit (2008). De la Torre coedited, with Michael Wiegers, the bilingual anthology Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry (2002). Her translations from Spanish include Lila Zemborain’s Mauve Sea-Orchids (2007, co-translated with Rosa Alcalá) and Poems by Gerardo Deniz (2000), which she also edited. De la Torre’s honors include a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship. She has edited BOMB Magazine and the Brooklyn Rail. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Brooklyn College.

Events: What Translation Sparks


Tenzin Tsundue

Bio: Tenzin Tsundue is an Indian-born Tibetan writer and activist. He is the award-winning author of four books and is currently working on a fifth. Tsundue combines activism and academia, touring colleges all over India and giving lectures on exile writing, resistance, culture and identity. If his speaking has taken him to 20 foreign countries including Germany, the US, the UK, Taiwan and France, his political activism has sent him to jail 16 times. In early 2021 he led a “Walk a Mile for Tibet” campaign that saw him walk 500km from Dharamshala to Delhi, before later embarking on an 127-day Himalayan hike to draw attention to China’s aggressive expansionist policies. Tsundue’s writing has inspired plays, films and poetry in different languages. His writings have been translated into fifteen languages and are taught in schools and universities in India and abroad. He studied literature and philosophy at the Universities of Madras and Bombay, and is an alumnus of the Tibetan Children’s Village School.

Events: Cheuse Salon at Bloombars with Tibetan writer Tenzin Tsundue, DC's Youth Poet Laureate, Voices of Freedom editor Katya Kazimirova & music by Courtney Dowe