Alec Ash


Alec Ash is a freelance writer and editor in Beijing, author of Wish Lanterns, literary nonfiction about the lives of six young Chinese published by Picador in 2016. He was interviewed in the New York Times about the book here.

His articles have appeared in The Economist, 1843, Dissent, The Sunday Times, Prospect, Standpoint, Vox and elsewhere. He is currently managing editor, part-time, of the China Channel at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Born in England, Ash studied English literature at Oxford University, where he edited The Isis magazine and hitchhiked to Morocco. In 2007 he taught in a Tibetan village in western China, before moving to Beijing in 2008.

His work has appeared in the anthologies Chinese Characters and While We're Here, from the 'writers' colony' the Anthill that he founded in 2012. He has also interviewed over sixty authors about their literary influences at Five Books.

In his free time he enjoys piano, running and tai chi, and writing about himself in the third person.

twitter Twitter: @alecash


Selected as a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

"Compelling and beautifully written" – Prospect

"One of the best I have read" – FT

"Fascinating and insightful"
Paul French

"A talented young observer of today’s China"
Peter Hessler