Alec Ash


Alec Ash is a writer and editor living in China. He is author of Wish Lanterns (Picador, 2016), literary nonfiction about the lives of six young Chinese, which was a BBC Book of the Week, reviewed in papers including Washington Post and featured in this New York Times interview with Ash.

His longform articles have appeared in the Guardian, 1843 and Dissent among elswehere, as well as his correspondence for The Economist and The Sunday Times. He is currently Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel (read a Q&A about his editing work here).

Born in England, Ash studied English literature at Oxford University, where he edited The Isis magazine, wrote a play for the Edinburgh Fringe, and hitchhiked to Morocco. He then taught in a Tibetan village in western China, before moving to Beijing in 2008 to learn Mandarin and write.

His work has appeared in the anthologies Chinese Characters (UC Press, 2012) and While We're Here (Earnshaw Books, 2015), co-editing the latter from his old website the Anthill. He is also Asia Editor at Five Books, where has interviewed over sixty authors about their literary influences.

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

twitter Twitter: @alecash


A BBC Book of the Week

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

"Lyrical ... a telling portrait" – Washington Post

"Fascinating and insightful"
Paul French

"Compelling and beautifully written" – Prospect