Xu Xi is an Indonesian American raised in Hong Kong. She speaks English and Chinese, even though those languages are not her parents' native languages. Her father traded manganese ore and her mother was a pharmacist. Xu started writing stories in English when she was a child. As an adult, she maintained a parallel career in international marketing for 18 years, working for several major multinationals, while writing and publishing fiction. She left corporate life in 1998.
Xu Xi is a graduate of the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Now a U.S. citizen, she is on the low-residency MFA fiction and creative nonfiction faculty at Vermont College in Montpelier; she has served as faculty chair since 2009. As of 2010, she became writer-in-residence, at City University of Hong Kong, where she established and directs the first, low-residency MFA which specializes in Asian writing in English.
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