American Born Chinese tells the story of Jin Wang, a son of Chinese immigrants, who struggles to assimilate at a predominately white school after moving from San Francisco’s Chinatown to the suburbs. Jin’s story is interwoven with the legend of the Chinese folk hero Monkey King, and a sitcom starring buck-toothed Chinese stereotype Cousin Chin-Kee. The Miami Herald called American Born Chinese “brilliantly written and designed, sophisticated and wise.” In naming it one of their ten best books for young adults, the Chicago Sun Times wrote that “Visually astute teens will find the tale of suppressed identity as compelling as a movie.” American Born Chinese was originally published as a webcomic on Modern Tales.
Yang’s drawings are created with what Scott McCloud refers to as a “cheap tool bravado,” using everything from brushes to Sharpie markers to Pigma Micron pens to ballpoint pens. His artwork has been shown in San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum. Following American Born Chinese, Yang wrote The Eternal Smile, a collection of 3 short stories in comics, done in collaboration with Derek Kirk Kim. His latest book is Prime Baby, originally serialized in The New York Times Magazine.
Yang currently lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he teaches computer science at Bishop O’Dowd High School. His father is an electrical engineer from Taiwan and his mother a programmer who grew up in Hong Kong and Taiwan.