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, a BBC Book of the Week reviewed widely and featured in this New York Times interview (中文).

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

Born in Oxford, UK, Ash studied English literature at Oxford University, where he edited The Isis magazine and hitchhiked to Morocco. On graduating he taught in a Tibetan mountain village in western China, before moving to Beijing in 2008 to learn Mandarin, returning in 2012 to writ .

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

"Alive with the full complications of truth" – Evan Osnos

"Compelling and beautifully written" – Prospect