Ling Ma is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel Severance (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2018), described as a “meticulous, caustic description of life in big cities and what happens when a terrible pandemic slowly annihilates most of the human population.” Severance won the Kirkus Prize for Fiction, the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. Named a New York Times Notable Book and an NPR Best Book of 2018, it has been translated into seven languages. Ling’s fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Granta, Playboy,Vice, Chicago Reader, Ninth Letter, Buzzfeed, and more. Her fellowships include a Whiting Award, and an NEA creative writing fellowship.
Ling was born in Sanming, China, and grew up in Utah and Kansas. She received her MFA from Cornell University. Prior to graduate school she worked as a journalist and editor. She has taught creative writing and English at Cornell University and the University of Chicago. She lives in Chicago.
About the Creative Writing Lectures Series
The Creative Writing Lecture Series brings distinguished writers to Columbia for original talks on craft. Recent guests have included John Keene, Sarah Manguso, Lynne Tillman, and Carmen Maria Machado.