Alexander Chee

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Alexander Chee

Goodreads Author

in The United States



Anne Carson, James Baldwin, Paul Bowles, Jane Bowles, Denis Johnson, G ...more

member since
June 2007

About this author

"Alexander Chee is the best new novelist I've seen in some time. Edinburgh is moody, dramatic - and pure."--Edmund White

“A complex, sophisticated, elegant investigation of trauma and desire - like a white hot flame.”--Joyce Hackett, in The Guardian

“A coming-of-age novel in the grand Romantic tradition, where passions run high, Cupid stalks Psyche, and love shares the dance floor with death . . . A lovely, nuanced, never predictable portrait of a creative soul in the throes of becoming.”--Washington Post Book World

Alexander Chee was born in South Kingston, RI, and raised in South Korea, Guam, Truk and Maine. He attended Wesleyan University and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, an NEA F

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Published on May 25, 2015 12:37 • 34 views
Average rating: 3.98 · 900 ratings · 138 reviews · 5 distinct works · Similar authors
4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 573 ratings — published 2001 — 3 editions
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The Queen of the Night
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 23 ratings — expected publication 2016 — 3 editions
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Never Can Say Goodbye: Writ...
3.46 of 5 stars 3.46 avg rating — 279 ratings — published 2014 — 3 editions
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Brothers & Beasts: An Antho...
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 29 ratings — published 2007
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The Asian American Literary...
5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 2010
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A Gate at the Stairs
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What is Remembered
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Alexander Alexander said: " I ran into friends at a cafe and they asked me how this was, and to my surprise I had quite a bit to say about it.

First off, I have to say I find it to be written with an incredible level of compression. Second, like the autobiographical writings of
...more "

The Beast Within
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Alexander's Recent Updates

Alexander wants to read
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Fates and Furies
by Lauren Groff (Goodreads Author)
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Alexander voted for Prelude to Bruise as Best Poetry in the Semifinal Round of the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards.
Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones
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The Listeners by Leni Zumas
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Friendship by Emily Gould
by Emily Gould (Goodreads Author)
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Alexander and 24 other people liked Patrick Brown's review of Friendship:
Friendship by Emily Gould
""Things were happening to her. They were bad things, but at least they were happening."

I'm a fan of Emily Gould, kind of just in general. I like her internet writing and I liked her collection of essays, and I think she has one of the most interes..." Read more of this review »
Alexander rated a book 2 of 5 stars
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
The Golem and the Jinni
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Alexander voted for 1 books on the list Historical Fiction 2014
The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert
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Alexander rated a book 5 of 5 stars
This Bright River by Patrick Somerville
This Bright River
by Patrick Somerville (Goodreads Author)
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Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
" I haven't replied to the people who've accused me of looking for the subtext 'because I'm gay', especially as I've had many or even more commenters ta ...more "
More of Alexander's books…
“Writers aren't born, they're made--from practice, reading, and a lot of caffeine. And sometimes tutelage.”
Alexander Chee

“I resented the idea of being talented. I couldn’t respect it — in my experience, no one else did. Being called talented at school had only made me a target for resentment. I wanted to work. Work, I could honor.”
Alexander Chee

“My grandfather knows about hauntings, it occurs to me now. Here was where he knew his sisters, here was what he remembered, every day, in his Imperial school, as the Japanese grammar spread inside him, as he learned the language of the people who took his sisters and destroyed them. All his thoughts come to him in Japanese first, his dreams in Japanese also... I think of how every single thing he says in Korean comes across a pause where the Japanese is stilled and the Korean brought forward. Each part of speech a rescue”
Alexander Chee, Edinburgh

Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
Around the World ...: Maine 13 183 May 24, 2014 12:56PM  
YAholics Anonymous!: Biggest Bookshelf Ever! 570 186 May 26, 2014 07:07PM  
21st Century Lite...: The Rooster Prize 9 50 Apr 27, 2015 10:16PM  
21st Century Lite...: Book News 34 146 Jul 22, 2015 10:22PM  
The Book Club: Books and Authors in the Media 2015 12 16 Jul 23, 2015 06:15PM  
Literary Fiction ...: Summer Reading - Whites Only? 25 155 Sep 01, 2015 02:53PM  
229 On Reading Graphic Novels — 1631 members — last activity Apr 29, 2015 04:29PM
Let's talk about the wide array of graphic novels and which ones you enjoy reading. Maybe you like reading memoirs in the graphic format like Brooklyn ...more
1020 Fiction and Poetry Contests — 230 members — last activity Apr 30, 2015 10:51PM
A place to post deadlines and guidelines and purses and questions and encouragement re: contests and awards for fiction and poetry.
71606 Emily Books — 128 members — last activity Sep 25, 2012 11:41AM
Emily Books reads one book a month selected by Emily Gould and Ruth Curry. The books are sold at and sent automatically to subscribers. ...more
132 Guilty Pleasures — 579 members — last activity Feb 28, 2015 12:36AM
Forum for discussing/recommending queer texts, open to the idea that the definition of "queer" is still in process. Interests in all genres, fiction a ...more
14655 Opium's Literary Death Match — 57 members — last activity Feb 17, 2009 09:24AM
Opium’s Literary Death Match is a competitive, humor-centric reading series that features four readers (who represent print and online literary concer ...more
25x33 Opium Magazine Contests! — 31 members — last activity Feb 17, 2009 09:27AM
Opium's oddball contests let writers submit stories for the chance to win $1,000. Currently, Tom Perrotta is judging our 500-Word Memoir Contest, dead ...more
47866 Q&A with Susie Bright — 93 members — last activity Sep 12, 2013 06:28AM
May 11 to The End of Time! "Fight Like Hell For The Living" was my six-word memoir. Now we can expand on yours, mine, and ours. I'd be pleased to talk ...more
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Comments (showing 1-19)    post a comment »
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message 19: by Hilary

Hilary Hi, and thanks for the add! I came across your profile today when I was thining back to taking your lecture during one of the runs of the Wesleyan Conference a few years back. I really enjoyed what you taught/showed the students--I remember one of your assignments being to compose a pantoum, something new to me--and I read Edinburgh after the conference. Cheers!

message 18: by Jeannie

Jeannie Faulkner Barber Hi Alexander...hope you had a great holiday and thanks for adding me as a friend.

message 17: by Jessica

Jessica Alexander:
thanks for the sympathy!
maybe I'll add one of your books to my list as well for even more (sympathy)!!
all best,

message 16: by W.B.

W.B. Is it just me, or did you just pick up a couple of distinguished awards very recently?

message 15: by James

James Alex-
It's good "running into you" here. Hope all is well with you and your writing.

message 14: by W.B. (last edited Feb 18, 2008 11:08AM)

W.B. Cher Soldat Alexandre,


Most seem to think it's either 1)acting out a Berber subplot from a Paul Bowles novel 2)playing Commandante or 3)a stick friend said he instantly reached for his wallet to surrender it.

I was actually pretending I was Bazooka Joe for some self-portraits. Remember him? Remember how unfunny those comics wrapped around the gum were. Dry as the gum dust on them.

Getting up at 4 a.m. for monday work: lousy

tripping over terra cotta bunny going through backyard at 4:18 a.m.: Sucky

getting out of work at 1 pm, encountering no traffic coming home and sipping on a Smirnoff Raw Tea at 2:12 p.m.? Priceless!

lol...oooh Sanvaean is on! Lisa Gerard is a goddess. I was accused of being a devil worshipper for playing her at work once. I was just singing along with Liz Phair about taking someone's that's a rangy collection lyrics-wise...i can't sing along with Lisa...who the hell can...

I bought a movie camera and am making my first film tonight...i already have it in my mind's eye and ear...hope it comes off...

Hope you are furiously writing but without, like, the fury...only the furor...cacoethes scribendi is I believe the technical term...

ooh cake is media player knows and loves me....


xo B.

message 13: by W.B.

W.B. I just wanted to say, Alexander, that you look very hot in your photos.

Because you look so composed.

You look very relaxed in the world but prepared for the horrible struggles that will follow.

You will shrug like Caligula.

And say...."And?...."

That's hot.

I am W. (the good...well less evil one) and I approve this message.

Don't worry. I unclicked the fucking Update Feed button.


message 12: by W.B. (last edited Jan 24, 2008 02:11PM)

W.B. You scared me when you said "Click with great care."

I heard in it a Brothers Grimm voice and suddenly I felt a forest looming up all about me...

A forest of cat eaters and dragon prodigies walked on leashes by corporate drones.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Then I realized I belonged there and metamorphosed into a wolf and went looking for a magic purveyor of sushi.

The Grimms are all about the sushi.

message 11: by W.B.

W.B. I probably thought it said Pasolini.

That would interest me.

I don't Paolini from Paolo & Francesca or payola.

message 10: by W.B.

W.B. Alexander, I am not a joiner...really I'm not lol.

But when you get the's like you click on it to see what the group is and YOU'VE INSTANTLY JOINED...

I keep forgetting this.

And once I've joined it's too late. I'm too lazy to reverse my membership.

I still have no idea what the CATS group is. I think it might be an Asian swingers club. Or it might be about eating cats, because the moderator jovially talked about eating cat curry...curry cat?...whatever...

Every so often I ask Dana, "Hey Dana, are we still in the cat eating club?'

Still the moderator seems like a nice guy (gal?) I don't believe I've ever I'm happy to "swell his throng" or whatever.

Maybe I am in a group that will help to topple an East Asian despotism.

That would be nice.

And to think I did it while sitting in my living room eating sushi and scratching my meat and two veg.

message 9: by W.B.

W.B. You made me laugh. Emma never had to worry about an "update feed," thank god.

Oh wait, that's what they called the neighbors & townspeople back in those days!

Apothecaries are hot.

She should have done him instead.

message 8: by W.B.

W.B. I'm feeling just a little bit Bovary tonight. Je me sens un peu "Bovary" ce soir. Would you recommend arsenic or a shopping spree. Will Charles know if I go to Rodolphe? Will Rodolphe ever care about a human being other than as an abstract acquisition.

What is the Flaubert quote...Life is a comedy to those who think but a tragedy to those who feel?


Jeremy I want to apologize for the all the recommendations from me today. I wanted to share the Stoker Award news, and I only pressed the send button once--I'm not sure what happened to create so many messages. Some weird glitch.

Argh...this is terrible...

Again, I'm very sorry.


message 6: by W.B.

W.B. It is good to see my friend Alexander the Soldier about.

I am listening to Bobby McFerrin mouth Concerto in D Minor in a really convincing way.

Now my media player just went to K.D. doing something even more convincing from Ingenue.

K.D., Cmere. She makes my legs so wobbly.

Now, that's a mensch. :-)

message 5: by W.B.

W.B. I feel I may need a serious smudging.

Jeremy Here’s wishing you a nifty New Year filled with noiseless noses, neato nicknames, noble Nebraskans, gnarly narcoleptic nebulas, and novel novels about nut-eating narwhals and novercaphobic gnats.

-Jeremy :)

P.S.—I’m currently offering autographed/personally-inscribed copies of my novel, Vacation, with free shipping for those in the US. If there’s anything you could do to help me spread the word about this, I’d really appreciate it. Feel free to click here for details:

message 3: by Stephen (last edited Aug 09, 2007 09:44AM)

Stephen thanks for the add!

hope you're doing well!

i finally got a "real" job! no longer in postdoc limbo

message 2: by Susan

Susan Henderson I like looking around on your bookshelf, Alex.


message 1: by Lance

Lance Reynald it's kinda like sneaking into the library late at night and finding all the cool stuff.


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