Lisa Ko

Art Discipline: 
Brooklyn, NY
United States
Dates of Residence: 
Nov 19, 2007 to Dec 14, 2007

Lisa Ko is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in the Asian Pacific American Journal, Brooklyn Review, Bullfight Review, and Sassy. A former New York Foundation for the Arts fiction fellow and a recipient of the Van Lier fellowship in fiction, she is currently completing a collection of short stories. "Writing is an act of preservation for me, a survival tactic, a tool to counter cultural amnesia. I am motivated to breathe life into realities seldom seen on the printed page. My fiction is traditional, no-nonsense stories about characters who often slip between the literary cracks, who are rarely read in American literature despite a readership hungry for representation. My writing challenges perceptions and reflects the true diversity of Asian America, an umbrella term that includes much more than ethnicity and extends to class, sexual orientation, and geography. As the definitions of urban versus suburban-and now, exurban-America has shifted, as immigrant communities have moved into and beyond their second and third generations, so have the demographics of race, culture, economics, and land, as well as the nature of Asian American suburban life. Blending history with storytelling, I aim to unravel a new way of writing post-immigrant American fiction. My collection of eleven linked short stories, "Ain't No Street Like Home", follows a group of Asian American friends who arrive in New York in their twenties, during the late 1960s. The stories span more than 30 years and touch on the personal ways that urban planning in post-war New York City irrevocably altered the face of the city and the landscape of its surrounding suburbs. The history of the city and its suburbs is far more complex than black versus white, rich versus poor-New York City has always been a first home for immigrants in America, and as economic disparities the area have reached an all-time high, nearly eliminating the city's middle class, the traditional populations of the outlying suburbs have shifted to reflect this."