Hamline News

Acclaimed Graphic Novelist Known for Book "American Born Chinese" Joins Hamline Faculty

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Hamline is pleased to welcome acclaimed graphic novelist and cartoonist Gene Yang to its Master in Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults (MFAC) program. With Yang aboard, the program has expanded its writing genres to include graphic novels and comics.

Yang began publishing comic books under the name Humble Comics in 1996 and has remained humble throughout more than a decade of awards and accolades from the literary community. In 1997, he was awarded a Xeric Grant for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, which he followed with a number of stories in comic form.

Yang's book, American Born Chinese, became the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature. It also won an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album—New. The Eternal Smile, a collection of short stories illustrated by Derek Kirk Kim, also won an Eisner Award and was selected as a Young Adult Library Services Association Best Book for Young Adults.

“Having a talent like Gene Yang join our program opens our doors to writers wishing to immerse themselves in the process and craft of writing graphic novels and comics,” Mary Rockcastle, director of The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline, said. “It also enables us to attract the attention of leading publishers and agents hoping to publish the next Gene Yang, Marjene Satrapi, or Alan Moore.”

Yang’s most recent graphic novels are Prime Baby (first serialized in The New York Times Magazine), Animal Crackers and Level Up. In 2012, Dark Horse Comics will release his book Avatar: The Last Airbender-The Promise. Yang also teaches computer science at a Catholic high school in California.

For more information on the Master in Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults program visit the website or contact The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University via email or phone: 651-523-2047.