Author of the Week - Laurence Yep

Laurence Yep was born in 1948 in San Francisco. He was named by his older brother, Thomas who had studied a particular saint hat had died from a gruesome death. Yep's family owned a grocery store outside of Chinatown. Growing up, he says he felt torn between his Chinese and American cultures, and this shows through in many of his books. Many of his characters show a good deal of characters feeling alienated or not fitting into their environment. Yep said once, "I was too American to fit into Chinatown, and too Chinese to fit in anywhere else." But Yep found his place in the world of writing. While in Catholic high school, a teacher encouraged his students to write a paper good enough to be published by a magazine. Yep did, and the writing bug stuck. He went on to college, eventually getting his Ph.D in English.

Today, Yep has written over fifty-four books both fiction and non-fiction as well a a handful of plays. He received the Newbery Honor two of his books, Dragon's Gate and Dragonwings. Later Dragonwings was adapted into a play. Other notable book his Dragon series and The Chinatown Mysteries. In addition, Child of the Owl won the Boston Glob/Horn Book award in 1977 and The Rainbow People, Yep's collection of short stories based on Chinese folktales and legends. His newest book City of Fire just came out a few months ago.