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Celeste Ng Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Everything I Never Told You (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Little Fires Everywhere (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Our Missing Hearts (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Six Shorts 2017(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering(2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Celeste Ng is an American author of Chinese descent who made waves with ‘Everything I Never Told you’, her debut novel which garnered interest from ordinary readers and celebrities alike.


Celeste Ng was born in 1980 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her parents were born and lived in Hong Kong. In the 1960s, they made the decision to migrate to the United States.

Most of Celeste’s earliest memories revolve around her time in Shaker Heights, Ohio where the family moved from Pittsburgh when she was ten. A student of Shaker Heights City School District and Shaker Heights High School, the author’s time in Shaker Heights had a drastic impact on the person she became in later years.

It was from her experiences in Shaker Heights that the author wrote her first two books, though she did not stay there forever. Following her graduation from high school in 1998, the author enrolled at Harvard and got her Bachelor’s Degree in English.

She also pursued a Creative Writing program at the University of Michigan. By that point in her life, the author had begun experimenting with short stories. She even got an award for one of her short stories.

Celeste Ng has a husband and children.

+Literary Career

Celeste Ng read a lot as a child. Her parents, a physicist that worked for NASA and a chemist who taught in college, encouraged the habit; they even let her read at the dinner table.

A notable attribute of Celeste’s home was all the books she often left scattered all over the house. And she read everything. At first, the author just wanted to escape.

But then as the years passed, her tastes grew more refined. She took a liking to British literary classics like ‘The Secret Garden’, not to mention the works of authors like Laura Ingalls Wilder, John D. Fitzgerald and Basil E. Frankweiler.

Transitioning into Harvard University, the author acquired an interest in books, fiction, and nonfiction, that delved into matters of race and culture. At the time, Celeste found that she wanted to know where she came from.

She delved into Asian culture and even studied Mandarin for a year. Despite experimenting with short stories, Celeste Ng did not immediately go into publishing after college.

Rather, she got a job at Houghton Mifflin, a publishing house. She was put in the textbooks division and there she stayed for a while. Celeste wasn’t blind to her abilities as a writer.

She knew what she could do, and she understood that she had a passion for writing. But the author did not believe that writing was a viable career for someone like her. This is despite all the writing classes she had taken and the short stories she had written up to that point.

Writing was merely a hobby, something Celeste did in her spare time. The author believes that the mindset was informed by her upbringing. As a member of a family of immigrants, Celeste was always taught to approach life through a practical lens.

And that is what she did. She considered the possibilities available to her, but she never forgot about writing. Even when she toyed with the idea of being an astronaut or a paleontologist, it was with the intention of doing all those things or more and writing on the side.

And then the author got into a Creative Writing Program at the University of Michigan and it changed everything. She began writing essays and short stories saw them published, and that encouraged her to keep pushing forward.

The author’s big break came when she wrote ‘Everything I Never Told You’. It took her six years to write it. She began working on it while at the University of Michigan. She produced four drafts before she finally sold the book to Penguin Press.

That was in 2012. The author has since garnered a reputation for writing stories that tackle issues of race and family. Celeste keeps going back to the time she spent in Shaker Heights for inspiration.

Shaker Heights is a pretty diverse community in contemporary times but that wasn’t the case when Celeste lived there as a child. And it wasn’t until she looked back on those early memories from an adult’s perspective that she began to notice some the hardships she faced and glossed over.

The author writes a lot about race and culture because she is ethnically Chinese but her husband is white. Celeste is aware of the fact that their relationship might have drawn the ire of their community just one generation ago.

Celeste talks a lot about her son and the sort of life she believes he will have. Her worries and thoughts about the future are prominent in her work. Though, the author works hard to provide a balanced point of view.

She avoids painting any of her characters as outright heroes or villains. Rather, all her characters walk a fine line between the two aspects and that allows her to garner wide appeal.

+Everything I Never Told You

An American Chinese family has been living a relatively satisfactory life in a small town in Ohio. However, the 1970s are challenging times, and it has taken a delicate balancing act to keep the Lee family together.

Things begin to collapse when Lydia, the favorite child of the Lee Family is found dead in a lake.

This book explores the drama of a family as they try to traverse everyday life. The book begins with the death of a child, a member of the Lee family. Celeste shows the manner in which the family deals with her disappearance and their struggle to come to terms with her fate.

+Little Fires Everywhere

Shaker Heights is a progressive Cleveland Suburb. To survive in the community, you must play by the rules. And the rules govern everything, from the color of the houses to the length of the grass.

When Mia Warren moves to Shaker Heights with her teenage daughter and rents a house from the Richardsons, they upend the family’s life. All four of the Richardson children are drawn to Mia and Peal.

That doesn’t help her relationship with Elena Richardson who embodies the spirit of Shaker Heights and does not like Mia’s penchant for disregarding the status quo.

Meanwhile, a custody battle erupts when friends of the Richardson family adopt a Chinese American baby and their case divides the town.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Celeste Ng

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