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Chang-Rae Lee —
born on July 29, 1965,
As for what's the most challenging aspect of teaching, it's convincing younger writers of the importance of reading widely and passionately.
I'm interested in people who find themselves in places, either of their choosing or not, and who are forced to decide how best to live there. That feeling of both citizenship and exile, of always being an expatriate - with all the attendant problems and complications and delight.
In my teaching, I try to expose my students to the widest range of aesthetic possibilities, so I'll offer them stories from Anton Chekhov to Denis Johnson, from Flannery O'Connor to A.M. Homes, and perhaps investigating all that strange variation of beauty has rubbed off on me. Or perhaps that's why I enjoy teaching literature.
One of the ready advantages of writing a road or quest story is that it mirrors the experience of writing a novel.
I often think that the prime directive for me as a teacher of writing is akin to that for a physician, which is this: do no harm.