Amanda Lee Koe

author, translator

Amanda Lee Koe’s first short story collection, Ministry of Moral Panic, won the Singapore Literature Prize and was shortlisted for the Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s Internationaler Literaturpreis and the Frankfurt Book Fair’s LiBeraturpreis. Her debut novel, Delayed Rays of A Star, was an NPR Best Book of the Year, and has been translated into German and Ukrainian. She received her MFA from Columbia University’s Writing Program, where she won the Henfield Prize. She is working on a Mandarin to English translation of Su Qing’s novel, Ten Years of Marriage. Born in Singapore, she lives in New York.

Ilana Masad writes for NPR that Lee Koe’s novel Delayed Rays of A Star is the kind of performance that ambitious women have always had to put on in their quest to achieve their dreams—just think of superstars like Janelle Monáe, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and others, all of whom project a confidence and strength onstage and in their work to such an extent that it’s easy to forget that they are human beings with complex inner lives, insecurities, moments of weakness or doubt or shame. Fame discourages us from looking at icons as people, as if doing so will make them lose their power. Amanda Lee Koe’s debut novel, Delayed Rays of a Star, proves that it is just the opposite, that it is their humanity, their internal struggles, that makes their outsized performances all the richer… It is the moral tightropes… and the razor thin edge between fulfilling one’s ambition and selling one’s soul, that is at the core of the novel.