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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Laurence Yep

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Last Updated: gallyangel

Laurence Yep

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Full Name: Laurence Yep
Born: June 14, 1948
San Francisco, California, USA
Occupation: Writer
Nationality: American


Yep was born in San Francisco to Yep Gim Lew (Thomas) and Franche. His older brother, Thomas, named him after studying a particular saint in a multicultural neighborhood that consisted of mostly African Americans. Growing up, he often felt torn between U.S. and Chinese culture, and expressed this in many of his books. A great deal of his work involves characters feeling alienated or not fitting into their surroundings and environment, something Yep has struggled with since childhood. Most of his life, he has had the feeling of being out of place, whether because he is the non athlete in his athletic family or because he is Chinese and once lived in Chinatown but does not speak the language.

As it says in his autobiography, "I was too American to fit into Chinatown, and too Chinese to fit in anywhere else." As a boy, Yep attended a bilingual school in Chinatown. Just like Casey Young, a character in Child of the Owl, Yep was placed in the lower-level Chinese class where he was able to pass without learning how to speak the language. He later entered St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco where he continued his interest in chemistry and became equally intrigued with writing. His first writing was done in high school, for a science fiction magazine. His teacher, a priest, told him and a couple of his friends that to get an A, they had to get a piece of writing accepted by a magazine, and that's when he started to realize that a career in writing was meant to be.

Yep attended Marquette University and graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He earned a Ph.D in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

While working in his family's store, he "learned early on how to observe and listen to people, how to relate to others. It was good training for a writer." However, as a child, he thought of himself as a scientist and expected to become a chemist. "Like my father, I was fascinated by machines." His decision to become a writer did not come until he entered college at Marquette.

At Marquette, he met and became friends with the literary magazine editor, Joanne Ryder. She introduced him to children's literature and later asked him to write a book for children while she was working at Harper & Row. The result was his first science fiction novel, Sweetwater, published by Harper & Row in 1973. According to Yep, his relationship with Joanne began as friends and progressed into love (Yep, 1991). Yep and Ryder are married and live in Pacific Grove, California.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Star Trek: The Original Series

 22. (1985)


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