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Gene Luen Yang's path from teaching high school to writing 'American Born Chinese'

Gene Luen Yang
Albert Law
Gene Luen Yang

About The Episode

Twenty years ago, Gene Luen Yang taught high school and wrote comics on the side. Now, he's the author of American Born Chinese and other bestsellers. He says comic books belong in every classroom.

About Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang is the bestselling cartoonist and author of American Born Chinese, Dragon Hoops, and many more. He is also an executive producer on the Disney+ adaptation of American Born Chinese starring Ben Wang and Michelle Yeoh. American Born Chinese won the annual Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association, and was the first graphic novel to be a finalist for the National Book Award. Yang has also served as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He is also the author of the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics series for Dark Horse Comics, as well as a Superman series for DC Comics and the Shang-Chi series for Marvel. Prior to becoming a full-time author, Yang taught high school computer science at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, California.

About Ben Wang

Ben Wang is an actor and the star of the new series American Born Chinese. He also appeared in the Disney movie Chang Can Dunk. He was born in Beijing and immigrated to Minnesota at age six.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Rachel Faulkner White and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour and Manoush Zomorodi. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Rachel Faulkner White
Rachel Faulkner is a producer and editor for TED Radio Hour.
Sanaz Meshkinpour