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, Vox and elsewhere. Currently he is managing editor of the China Channel at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Ash studied English literature at Oxford University, where he edited The Isis magazine. In the summer of 2007 he taught in a Tibetan village in western China, which he wrote about in Chinese Characters, before moving to Beijing in 2008.

In 2012 he founded a 'writers' colony' of stories from China at the Anthill, and co-edited its anthology While We're Here. He has also interviewed over sixty authors about their literary influences at Five Books.

In his free time he enjoys reading, piano 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