About Claire Light


I was born in Hong Kong in the middle of the Cultural Revolution, and grew up in upstate New York, Arizona, Hong Kong, Ohio, Beijing, and Michigan. Sort of in that order. I am a multiracial, transnational faculty brat, with all the concomitant privileges and advantages.

Since I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area 20 years ago, I've worked primarily in ethnic community arts and cultural nonprofits, becoming a sort of generic nonprofit professional along the way. I worked for four years as a program manager for Kearny Street Workshop (KSW), an Asian American arts organization, where I helped found an annual festival for emerging artists, and later served as board president, and then (for three years) executive director; co-founded and was a senior editor, writer, blogger, and development director at national Asian American magazine Hyphen; and have worked in fundraising, curated arts programs, written arts and cultural criticism, and freelanced in a variety of nonprofit areas (which I'm still doing.) I also served on the board of the Carl Brandon Society.

I have an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State, which hasn't actually been of much use so far. I've also done a some creative writing instruction: to adults at KSW and at the Oakland Word program, at SFSU as a TA, and as a writer-in-residence at San Francisco's School of the Arts.

My writing has been published in various places, and a collection of my short stories, Slightly Behind and to the Left, was published by Aqueduct Press in 2009. There's more about my publications here. I've been working for sixteen years on a magnum opus epistolary alternate history novel taking place on Mars. When it's done, you'll be the first to know. In the meantime, I've just finished, and am shopping my first urban fantasy novel, Monkey Around, based on the myth of the Chinese Monkey King. Do ask me about it!

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