May-Lee Chai


May-lee Chai was born in Redlands, California the eldest daughter of an artisticly gifted Irish American mother and Shanghai born political scientist father. May-lee has lived in fourteen states and four countries.

May-lee Chai is a writer and educator. May-lee is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in Literature.

In addition to her books, she has published numerous short stories in journals, magazines and anthologies as well as essays and journalism.

She majored in French and Chinese Studies from Grinnell College in Iowa. May-lee received her M.A. in East Asian Studies from Yale University.

She also completed a second Master's in English-Creative Writing from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She has studied at universities in France, China, and Taiwan, and likes to study new languages.

Prize anthology mentions

Best American Essays 2013*

Best American Essays 2021*

* indicates notable/special mention

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