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Celeste Ng (/sɪˈlɛst ɪŋ/;[1] Chinese name: 伍綺詩) (born 1980) is an American author.[2][3] 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. Ng's second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, was published in 2017 and is being adapted as a television miniseries for Hulu.

Celeste Ng
Ng at 2018 National Book Festival
Born1980 (age 38–39)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater
Years active2002–present


Early life and educationEdit

Ng was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1980.[4] Her parents moved to the US from Hong Kong, China in the late 1960s.[4] 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.[3]

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.[3] 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.[3]

Ng attended Harvard University, where she completed a bachelor's degree in English in 2002.[5] After a sobering brush with textbook publishing and taking a fiction writing class, Ng decided to pursue writing as a career.[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."[3][7]

While on a book tour for her debut novel Everything I Never Told You, Ng stated that her favorite book when she was a child was Harriet the Spy. Some of her favorite books and inspirations include: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, Beloved by Toni Morrison, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout, as well as classics like: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, and The Count of Monte Cristo.[3]


Ng was a recipient of a Pushcart Prize in 2012 for her story "Girls, At Play."[8] Ng's fiction has appeared in the literary magazines 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, 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.[4][13] Everything I Never Told You has 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 miniseries on Hulu set to be released in 2020. It is being produced by Reese Witherspoon's production company, and will star Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.[17] In March 2018, Entertainment Weekly proclaimed that Ng was "the novelist of the moment."[18]

Personal lifeEdit

Ng currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband, Matthew T. Fox, and their son.[3][19]


  • 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. ^ Celeste Ng
  2. ^ NPR Staff (June 28, 2014). "'Everything I Never Told You' Exposed in Biracial Family's Loss". NPR.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g 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.
  4. ^ a b c Hoby, Hermione (November 17, 2014). "Amazon book of the year winner Celeste Ng: 'Writing's like shouting into the world'". The Guardian.
  5. ^ Schraa, Eugeneia (February 14, 2002). "Let's Stay Together". The Harvard Crimson. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  6. ^ Lamy, Nicole (December 20, 2018). "Celeste Ng Is More Than a Novelist". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  7. ^ ""What Passes Over" by Celeste Ng". One story. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  8. ^ Wineberg, Ronna. "Girls, At Play". Bellevue Literary Review. Archived from the original on April 29, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Dreifus, Erika. "Everything She Graciously Told Me: An Interview with Celeste Ng". erika dreifus. Retrieved August 6, 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 August 20, 2015.
  15. ^ "In 'Little Fires Everywhere,' Author Celeste Ng Explores 'Asianness' and Family". Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  16. ^ Henderson, Eleanor (September 25, 2017). "In a Quiet Ohio Town, Who Started the Fire, and Why?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  17. ^ Barsanti, Sam. "Hulu gives series order to Reese Witherspoon's Little Fires Everywhere adaptation". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  18. ^ Canfield, David (March 23, 2018). "Celeste Ng has become the novelist of the moment". Entertainment Weekly.
  19. ^ "Let's Stay Together | Magazine | The Harvard Crimson". Retrieved February 24, 2019.

Further readingEdit

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

External linksEdit