Stanford alumna wins a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award

Vanessa Hua

In the years since VANESSA HUA earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford, she has worked as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant and San Francisco Chronicle. Her work also has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, New Yorker online, Salon, The Atlantic, Newsweek and San Francisco and Stanford magazines.

Hua, who earned a BA in English in 1996 and an MA in communication in 1997, blogs about living with her husband, preschool twins and her widowed mother under one roof.

Her collection of short stories, The Responsibility of Deceit, received the 2015 Willow Books Grand Prize Literature Award for Prose and will be published next year.

Her stories have appeared in Guernica, ZYZZYVA and The Atlantic. She was an Aspen Summer Words Emerging Writer Fellow, a Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing at San Jose State University and a recipient of a 2014 James D. Phelan Literary Award and scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

Now she’s adding another honor to her list of accomplishments. She’s one of six emerging writers to win 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards.

Hua, who also holds an MFA from the University of California, Riverside, currently is working on A River of Stars, a novel about a pregnant Chinese factory clerk whose lover sends her to America to deliver the baby, giving his heir U.S. citizenship.

“The novel explores the intersecting lives of Chinese immigrants and the American-born who straddle the Pacific, who lead a transnational existence and hold a complicated relationship to their ancestral and adopted homelands – the clash between self and society, tradition and change,” she said in an announcement on the Jaffe award website.

In a video that features the award winners, Hua describes herself as the daughter of Chinese immigrants who has been writing about the Asian diaspora for nearly two decades, “both as a journalist and now in my fiction. With the help of the Rona Jaffe Foundation, I’ll be able to complete my novel, and I can’t wait to share it with the world.”