Authors at Large
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About Us


AUTHORS AT LARGE (AAL) is the brainchild of Robin Hemley and Xu Xi, two award winning authors who met in 2002 at the Foreign Correspondents Club bar in Hong Kong. Since that first meeting, their writing lives have crossed transnationally numerous times.

In 2005 or thereabouts, over a drink by the river in Sacramento, they imagined the solitude of their writing lives buoyed by a literary community that connected regularly around the world. An early, over-ambitious attempt to launch AAL was abandoned. Then, their careers as creative writing teachers took unexpected turns towards Asia, where each has a personal stake. 

Ten years after they first articulated their idea, the time was right to relaunch AUTHORS AT LARGE. In 2016, they offered their first intensive writing retreat in Asia, on the private island of Telunas in Indonesia. Writers from Asia, Australia and the U.S. participated in this first retreat which was very successful. Their hope is to grow their international community of writers by sharing what they've learned in their transnational writing lives.

Our Origins


Our Founders


Robin Hemley

Robin Hemley is the author of 14 books of nonfiction and fiction, including such books on writing as TURNING LIFE INTO FICTION and A FIELD GUIDE FOR IMMERSION WRITING: TRAVEL, MEMOIR, AND JOURNALISM, four short story collections, a novel, two memoirs, a book of investigative journalism, and the forthcoming book, BORDERLINE CITIZEN: DISPATCHES FROM THE OUTSKIRTS OF NATIONHOOD (Nebraska, 2020). Among his accolades for his writing, he’s been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a residency at The Bellagio Center for the Arts, courtesy of the Rockefeller Foundation, and three Pushcart Prizes in both fiction and nonfiction.


Xu Xi

Xu Xi 許素細 is the author of fourteen books of fiction & essays, most recently This Fish is Fowl: Essays of Being (Nebraska, American Lives series 2019), Insignificance: Hong Kong Stories (Signal 8 Press), a memoir Dear Hong Kong: An Elegy For A City (Penguin, July 2017) and her fifth novel, That Man In Our Lives (C & R Press, 2016). Forthcoming books include The Art & Craft of Asian Stores, co-edited with Robin Hemley (Bloomsbury, London 2020). She has been a finalist for the Man Asian Literary Prize, an O. Henry short story prize winner and a New York State Arts Foundation fiction fellow. She is also editor of four anthologies of Hong Kong writing in English.