Alec Ash


Alec Ash is a writer and editor in Beijing, author of Wish Lanterns, literary nonfiction about the lives of six young Chinese published by Picador in 2016.

His articles have appeared in The Economist, Dissent, BBC, Prospect, Foreign Policy and elsewhere. He is a contributor to the book of reportage Chinese Characters and co-editor of the anthology While We're Here.

Ash studied English literature at Oxford University, where he edited The Isis magazine and hitchiked to Morocco. After graduating he taught in a Tibetan village in western China before moving to Beijing in 2008.

In 2012 he founded a 'writers' colony' of stories from China at the Anthill. He is a regular blogger for the Los Angeles Review of Books and has interviewed over sixty authors about their literary influences at Five Books.

In his free time he enjoys playing piano, doing qigong 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