Don Lee is the author most recently of the novel Wrack and Ruin from W.W. Norton. He is also the author of the novel Country of Origin, which won an American Book Award, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and a Mixed Media Watch Image Award for Outstanding Fiction, and the story collection Yellow, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Members Choice Award from the Asian American Writers' Workshop.
In November 2007, he received the inaugural Fred R. Brown Literary Award for emerging novelists from the University of Pittsburgh's creative writing program.He has received an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize, and his stories have been published in The Kenyon Review, GQ, New England Review, The North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, Bamboo Ridge, Manoa, American Short Fiction, Glimmer Train, Charlie Chan Is Dead 2, Screaming Monkeys, Narrative, and elsewhere. His book reviews and essays have appeared in The Boston Globe, Harvard Review, Agni, Boston magazine, The Village Voice, and other magazines. He has received fellowships from Yaddo, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the St. Botolph Club Foundation.
From 1988 to 2007, he was the principal editor of the literary journal Ploughshares. From 2007 to 2008, he was an associate professor of creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. From 2008 to 2009, he was an associate professor in Western Michigan University's graduate creative writing program in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In the fall of 2009, he began teaching as a professor in Temple University's graduate creative writing program.
He is a third-generation Korean American. The son of a career State Department officer, he spent the majority of his childhood in Tokyo and Seoul. In Tokyo, he attended ASI, the American School in Japan. He received his BA in English literature from UCLA and his MFA in creative writing and literature from Emerson College. After graduating, he taught fiction writing workshops at Emerson for four years as an adjunct instructor, then began working full-time at Ploughshares. He was an occasional writer-in-residence in Emerson's MFA program and a visiting writer at other colleges and universities.