Max Yeh, described as “a writer on the rampage” by E.L. Doctorow, is the author of The Beginning of the East (FC2, 1992). He was born in China, educated in the United States and has lived in Europe and Mexico. He has taught at the University of California, Irvine, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and New Mexico State University. He lives in the New Mexico mountains with his wife and daughter, where he works on a wide range of subjects including literary theory, linguistics, art history and science.
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A Chinese American historian discovers six anonymous documents in Spanish and Chinese in places ranging from the archives of Imperial China to a rare book shop in Mexico City and constructs a hitherto unknown correspondence between the Chinese Ming Emperor Wanli and Miguel Cervantes, author of Don Quixote. Difficulties in translation and the years-long, perilous voyages undertaken by conscripted letter couriers highlight the intensive labor and sheer serendipitous luck required to make this seemingly impossible 17th-century exchange possible. This reimagined history brings together the disparate histories of the Emperor, Cervantes, and the historian, united through time by their deep interest in literature, philosophy, politics, and the burden of demented mothers. As he did in his acclaimed previous novel, The Beginning of the East, Yeh continues to remap literary conventions. Layering documentary evidence, conflicting translations, and cultural contexts, Yeh sends ripples through the idea of historical fiction in the vein of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino. Described as “a writer on a rampage, with an appetite for history,” by E.L. Doctorow, Yeh’s Stolen Oranges reimagines the relationships of the past and the present.
Max Yeh news
Join us for a reading and conversation with four outstanding Chinese writers whose works upend the notion of a monolithic Chinese identity and uncover a much more complicated story about the diversity of Chinese diasporic experiences in America: 2017 National Book Award finalist Lisa Ko (The Leavers), crime-writer-turned-YA-author Ed Lin (David Tung Can’t Have a […]
If you’re in the American Southwest, be sure to join Max Yeh at Bookworks in Albuquerque (NM), as he reads from his whirlwind work Stolen Oranges: Letters Between Cervantes and the Emperor of China, a Pseudo-Fiction. Stolen Oranges journeys to locations ranging from the archives of Imperial China to a rare book shop in Mexico […]
2019 Asian American Literature Festival https://smithsonianapa.org/lit/lit2019/ August 2-4, 2019 at Eaton DC, Library of Congress, and Smithsonian Freer/Sackler Galleries free to the public Kaya Press will host 2 awesome panels: Kaya Healing Circle on Toxic Masculinity on Saturday, August 3, at 5:30 PM-6:30 PM Transnational Narratives, featuring Mimi Lok, Max Yeh + Alice Stephens, moderated […]
In Max Yeh’s new novel, Stolen Oranges, a Chinese American historian discovers six anonymous documents in places ranging from the archives of Imperial China to a rare book shop in Mexico City. From these texts, written in Spanish and Chinese, he constructs a hitherto unknown correspondence between the Chinese Ming Emperor Wanli and Miguel Cervantes, author of Don Quixote. […]