Stanford Writers in Conversation: An Evening with Chang-rae Lee

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

8:00 pm

Oak Lounge, Tresidder Union Map

Sponsored by:
Continuing Studies

Please Note: The event start time has changed due to a scheduling conflict with one of the guest speakers. The event will now begin at 8:00 pm. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Each program in this series will bring to center stage a distinguished author from the Stanford community. We will discuss a fiction writer’s process—from the genesis of an idea, to the nuts and bolts of the prose’s inner workings, to the editing and publication process—and engage the local community in a lively question-and-answer session. The program will be hosted by Sara Houghteling, former Nancy Packer Lecturer in Continuing Studies. 

An Evening with Chang-rae Lee

Join us for an evening with internationally renowned author Chang-rae Lee as he discusses his most recent novel, On Such a Full Sea. In this dazzling book, Lee imagines a future after the breakdown of our own society, where long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as high-walled, self-contained labor colonies. Members of the labor class—descendants of those once transported en masse from environmentally ruined provincial China—find purpose and identity in their work providing fish to the elite charter villages that ring the labor settlement. From these labor colonies emerges Fan, a young female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears—thus setting in motion her epic, legendary journey. Through Fan’s eyes, Lee explores issues of cultural identity, work, and love. On Such a Full Sea is a harrowing and fully imagined vision, and the narration, written in the collective voice of B-Mor, gives the novel the tone of a timeless and cautionary fable. 

Over the course of the evening, Lee will discuss the essential tools of the novelist’s craft—voice, plot, structure, point of view—and share personal observations into his writing and editing process. Avid readers and aspiring writers alike will gain fresh insights into the art of fiction during this engaging discussion with one of this generation’s most spellbinding literary voices and esteemed teachers. 

Chang-rae Lee, Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor of English, Stanford

Chang-rae Lee is the author of five novels including The Surrendered, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and On Such a Full Sea, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and recipient of the Heartland Fiction Prize. In 1999, Lee was named one of The New Yorker's “20 Writers for the 21st Century.” His stories and articles have also appeared in The New York TimesTimeGranta, and many other publications. Lee received an MFA from the University of Oregon, and an honorary doctorate from William Paterson University. 

Sara Houghteling, Former Nancy Packer Lecturer in Continuing Studies, Stanford

Sara Houghteling is the author of Pictures at an Exhibition, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a San Francisco Chronicle Best of 2009 Book, and a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. She has received a Fulbright Scholarship, an NEA Fellowship, a Camargo Fellowship, the Ribalow Prize, and the Wallant Award. Her writing has also appeared in The New York TimesNarrative, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Houghteling received an MFA from the University of Michigan.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Oak Lounge, Tresidder Union Map

Free and open to the public. Doors open at 7:30 pm.


Arts Lecture / Reading Humanities Literary 

General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends
More info:
Visit this website