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New professor's book one of NPR's summer reading picks

June 9, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's Don Lee had his latest book, "Wrack and Ruin," featured on National Public Radio, with excepts from the fiction work read on the program as part of Summer Books 2008 series.

Lee, who will join WMU in the fall as an associate professor in the creative writing program, is an accomplished author with other works including "Country of Origin," which won an American Book Award, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and a Mixed Media Watch Image Award for Outstanding Fiction, and the story collection "Yellow," which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Members Choice Award from the Asian American Writers' Workshop.

In November 2007, he received the inaugural Fred R. Brown Literary Award for emerging novelists from the University of Pittsburgh's creative writing program.

"Wrack and Ruin" is a comic satire about Lyndon Song, a renowned sculptor, who fled New York City to become a Brussels sprouts farmer in the small California town of Rosarita Bay. Lyndon's relationship with his estranged brother, an uptight Hollywood producer, and his refusal to sell his farmland to a golf course developer play into the story along with an array of misfits and minor characters.

Prior to coming to WMU, Lee was an associate professor of creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., and was the editor of the literary journal Ploughshares. He received his bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his master's degree in creative writing and literature from Emerson College.

"Wrack and Ruin" is published by W.W. Norton in April and has a list price of $23.95. It is available online from Amazon.com and BarnesandNobel.com and in local bookstores nationally.

Media contact: Deanne Molinari, (269) 387-8400, deanne.molinari@wmich.edu

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