Catherine Chung was born in Evanston, IL, and grew up in New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. Writing has been her life-long passion, but as an undergraduate she indulged in a brief, one-sided affair with mathematics at the University of Chicago followed by a few years in Santa Monica working at a think tank by the sea.
Eventually she attended Cornell University for her MFA where she was lucky enough to meet amazing teachers and friends, and she spent the following years teaching, working on her novel, and moving from place to place. She and her book were given shelter and encouragement at MacDowell, Jentel, Hedgebrook, SFAI, Camargo, The University of Leipzig, and Yaddo. Her brother, Heesoo Chung, also gave her a bed and fed her lots of ice cream during this time. Forgotten Country was published by Riverhead Books in March 2012, and won an Honorable Mention for the 2013 PEN/Hemingway Award. It was also picked for Booklist‘s Top 10 Debut Novels of 2012, and Bookpage’s and The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Best Books of 2012 lists.
Catherine is the recipient of a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing, a Granta New Voice, and a fiction editor at Guernica Magazine. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Adelphi University, and currently lives in New York City.