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.
Prior to her full-time writing life, Xu had a parallel career in corporate marketing, mostly in the international arena. She worked in Asia and America for several major multinationals, and held management positions at Dow Jones (The Asian Wall Street Journal), Federal Express, Leo Burnett and Pinkerton’s. Other marketing positions she held were at Cathay Pacific Airways, the Wall Street law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and PDT Architects in Cincinnati. In 1998, after the publication of her third book, she did surrender completely to the writing life.
At home in both the U.S. and Asia, she was a faculty member at Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in writing from 2002-12, and served as faculty chair from 2009-12. She was writer-in-residence at City University of Hong Kong from 2010 to 2016 where she established and directed Asia's first low-residency MFA in writing that is internationally recognized; in 2015, this highly successful program was controversially closed by the university. A former distinguished visiting writer at the Virginia G. Piper Center for creative writing at Arizona State University in Tempe in 2016, she is also fiction editor-at-large for Tupelo Press in the U.S. In 2018 she was named Faculty Co-Director of a new International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She holds a MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.