Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
Assistant Chair, Graduate Writing
Born in Houston, Bynum grew up in Boston, and most recently taught at the UC San Diego. She graduated from Brown University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In 2010, The New Yorker magazine dubbed her one of the top “20 Under 40” writers for her two novels (Madeleine is Sleeping and Ms. Hempel Chronicles) and notable short stories. She’s been a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and is widely published in various reviews and journals. Her writing is characterized by compelling poetic language and fairy tale-tinged content.
“I’d been a fan of Otis long before I started teaching here, and knew and admired the work of several of the faculty writers and artists. It’s great to be able to offer students a truly hands-on experience working with publications that are so thoughtfully edited and elegantly designed. I’m also looking forward to exploring the possibility of cross-disciplinary conversation and collaboration with Otis’s other graduate programs.”
“If I could be a photographer, a dancer, a bass player in a rock’n’roll band — I would! I’ve tried and fantasized and fallen short. I spend my days hunched over a keyboard because writing is the only art form for which I’ve shown any aptitude. I love my medium, but I also love so many others.”