Crystal Chan’s first novel, Bird, focuses on a 12 year-old girl and her family’s struggle with loss, secrets, silence, and racial identity. Chan, who grew up as a mixed-race kid in Wisconsin, reports that she simply didn’t know any other mixed-race families when she lived in Oshkosh during the 1980s and 1990s.
“But beyond race and ethnicity," Chan says, "everyone questions who they are and where they fit in in the world, and that’s one of the strengths of the novel—that no matter what the reader’s background is, you can relate. That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s sold so strong internationally, too.”
Bird has been published in nine countries and has a solid following among adults as well as middle-school readers.
The Society of Midland Authors recently announced Bird is a Finalist in its best books by Midwest authors, children's fiction, for 2014.
Over time, Chan found that her heart lies in public speaking, performing, and ultimately, writing. She has given talks and workshops across the country; facilitated discussion groups at national conferences; is a professional storyteller for children and adults alike; and contributes to Wisconsin Public Radio.
In Chicago, where Chan now lives, you will find her biking along the city streets and talking to her pet turtle.
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