Dr. Michael X. Wang, assistant professor of English at Arkansas Tech University, is the 2021 winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection.
Wang earned the award based upon his 2020 book “Further News of Defeat,” which tells the story of fictional village Xinchun, China. A summary provided by publisher Autumn House states that Wang’s short stories “explore themes of tradition, family, modernity and immigration in a country grappling with its modern identity.”
A native of Fenyang, China, Wang has lived in the United States since he was 6 years old. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University, a Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction from Purdue University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in literature from Florida State University.
Wang joined the faculty at Arkansas Tech in 2018.
“My goal as a Chinese-American writer is separating the politics of the country from the people,” said Wang. “You look at all the news about China and you forget that it’s still a country in which over half the population is living in the countryside in rural communities. That side of the country is rarely explored in American news or literature. I hope my fiction at least bridges that gap a little bit so that we as Americans have a better idea of the Chinese people and not just the politics surrounding them.”
More information about Wang’s award-winning book is available at www.autumnhouse.org/books/further-news-of-defeat.
Visit www.atu.edu/worldlanguages to learn more about the ATU Department of English and World Languages.