DiYA Author Spotlight: Laurence Yep
Laurence Yep was born in San Francisco in 1948. He is the author of more than 60 books for young people, including the Newbery Honor books Dragonwings and Dragon’s Gate. In 2005, he was awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal by the American Library Assocation, which honors honors an author or illustrator whose books have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.
“As a child I hated Chinese school. I wanted to be as American as possible. Then, in my early twenties, I became very interested in my Chinese roots. For years after that, I thought that my function as a Chinese-American writer was to act as a bridge between two cultures. Now, though, I am not so sure that it is possible to blend two cultures together. Asian cultures are family- and cooperation-oriented. American culture on the other hand emphasizes the individual and competition. The two cultures pull in opposite directions. So I see myself now as someone who will always be on the borer between two cultures. That works to my benefit as a writer because not quite fitting in helps me be a better observer.” — Laurence Yep on his Chinese heritage (PaperTigers.org)
“As a child, I read mostly science fiction and fantasy books like the Oz books. When I was a child, I grew up in a black neighborhood but went to school in Chinatown. So I moved back and forth between two ghettoes. I could never get into the Homer Price novels, because in those books, every kid had a bicycle, and every kid left their front door unlocked, and that was alien to me as a child. You had to lock your doors, and no one I knew had a bike. But in science fiction and fantasy, children leave the everyday world and go to a strange place where they have to learn a new language and new customs. Science fiction and fantasy were about adapting, and that was something I did every day when I got on and off the bus.” — Laurence Yep on the books he read in his childhood (Scholastic)
See Laurence Yep’s bibliography on Wikipedia