Shawna Yang Ryan – Writer and Teacher

Berkeley, CA

I hope that we will continue to reimagine and reinvent who is “Taiwanese American” for the future generation, who may not look like us, but who will carry our values and dreams.

yangryan.shawna2Who are you?

I’m a native Californian of mixed-race descent. From my classes at City College to hours spent in front of my desk, I live and breathe words. My novel, Water Ghosts, was released in hardcover by Penguin Press in 2009 –the culmination of many years of hard work. I’m also proud dog-mama to three rescue dogs.

What do you do?

I am a fiction writer and teacher. I write fiction about the intersections of love, race, and history. I teach writing in the Asian Pacific American Student Success program at City College of San Francisco. Both of these jobs further my life’s goals: to help people think critically about their place in the world, and educate them about the agency they own against seemingly immoveable forces.

Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?

My mother was born in Taichung, Taiwan. For many years, I had only a vague idea of Taiwan. In 1999, after graduating from college, I spent the first of four years living in Taiwan and learned what sets Taiwan apart historically and culturally from all other places. Coming late to my knowledge of Taiwan has allowed me a deep and critical appreciation for the tenacious spirit that characterizes the island. Daiwan jia-you!

What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?

Like no other place in the world, America gives people the chance to rethink and reimagine the various intersections of ethnic and national identity. In the three years since I first discovered TaiwaneseAmerican.org, I’ve watched dramatic change in the expression and accomplishments of the Taiwanese American community. The future of Taiwanese America is broad –I hope that we will continue to reimagine and reinvent who is “Taiwanese American” for the future generation, who may not look like us, but who will carry our values and dreams.

Any additional information you would like to share?

www.shawnayangryan.com

yangryan.shawna1yangryan.shawna3

One Response to “Shawna Yang Ryan – Writer and Teacher”

  1. Renee

    you are so amazing…can i say you’re my hero too…congrats on more and more on all you do! keep representing!

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