Crazy Rich Asians (Kwan) - Author Bio

Author Bio
Birth—ca. 1973-74
Where—Singapore
Raised—Clear Lake, Texas, USA
Education—B.A., University of Houston-Clear Lake; B.F.A., Parsons School of Design
Currently—lives in New York, New York


Kevin Kwan is a Singaporean-American novelist best known for his satirical Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy (2013-17). He was born in Singapore, the youngest of three boys, into an established, old-wealth Chinese family.

Background and early years
His great-grandfather, Oh Sian Guan, was a founding director of Singapore's oldest bank, the Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation. His paternal grandfather, Dr. Arthur Kwan Pah Chien, was an ophthalmologist who became Singapore's first Western-trained specialist and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his philanthropic efforts. His maternal grandfather, Rev. Paul Hang Sing Hon, founded the Hinghwa Methodist Church. Kwan is also related to Hong Kong-born American actress Nancy Kwan.

As a young boy, Kwan lived in Singapore with his paternal grandparents and attended the Anglo-Chinese School. When he was 11, his father, an engineer, and mother, a pianist, moved the family to the U.S., eventually landing in Clear Lake, Texas, where Kwan graduated from high school at the age of 16. Kwan earned a B.A. in Media Studies from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, after which he moved to Manhattan to attend Parsons School of Design to pursue a B.F.A. in Photography.

Career
Staying in New York, Kwan worked for Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and Tibor Kalman's design firm M & Co. In 2000, Kwan established his own creative studio; his clients have included Ted.com, Museum of Modern Art, and the New York Times.

In 2007, Kwan edited I Was Cuba, a photographic "memoir" of Cuba; in 2008 he co-authored with Deborah Aaronson an advice book, Luck: The Essential Guide.

Then, in 2009, while caring for his dying father, Kwan began to conceive of Crazy Rich Asians. He and his father reminisced about their life in Singapore while driving to and from medical appointments. Hoping to capture those memories, Kwan began writing them down in story form.

Living in the U.S. since 1985, Kwan's view of Asia had become westernized—he has said he feels like "an outsider looking in." His goal was to change the stereotypical perception of wealthy Asians' conspicuous consumption, refocusing instead on old-wealth families more like his own, families that exude "style and taste [and] have been quietly going about their lives for generations."

Four years later, in 2013, Kwan published Crazy Rich Asians, the first volume of what would become his trilogy. Two years later, in 2015, he released China Rich Girlfriend and, in 2017, Rich People's Problems. In 2018 the first book of the trilogy was released as a film and became an immediate box office hit.

In August 2018, Amazon Studios ordered a new drama series from Kwan and STX Entertainment. The as yet unnamed series is to be set in Hong Kong and will follow the "most influential and powerful family" along with their business empire.

Recognition
In 2014, Kwan was named as one of the "Five Writers to Watch" on the list of Hollywood's Most Powerful Authors published by The Hollywood Reporter. In 2018, he made Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people; that same year he was also inducted into The Asian Hall of Fame. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 10/18/2018.)

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