Wong is one of Before Columbus Foundation’s original founders and currently sits on its board of directors.
Shawn Wong is a writer and Professor of English at the University of Washington. He has published two novels, Homebase (1979) and American Knees (1995), and is the editor of many anthologies of Asian-American literature, including Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers, which helped establish the field. He has been critical to the rise of Asian-American literature in its writing, teaching, and discussion. When Homebase was first published in 1979, it was the only Chinese-American novel in print in America. As a scholar, Shawn Wong pioneered Asian-American studies and co-organized the first Asian-American writer’s conference. In this interview, we discuss these beginnings, the state of Asian-American literature now, as well as his works and teaching.