Karen Kao


author website publications

Welcome to my author website. You can read about my work as a fiction writer, essayist, book reviewer, and creative writing teacher.

I am the winner of the 2022 Kenyon Review Short Nonfiction Contest. My essays have been nominated for the Best American Essays, the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. My short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and VERA. The Dancing Girl and the Turtle is my debut novel set in 1930s Shanghai. You can find my short form work in Pleiades, Kenyon Review, Brevity Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review and others.

As of May 2023, the photo above shows all my work in print to date. It’s a harvest of which I’m tremendously proud. My heart pounds equally hard for publications that exist only on the internet. You can find the links to that online work on my publications page.

On this author website, you can learn more about me and my writing. Have a look around. Read the backstory to my debut novel, my most recent book reviews or old blog posts from a seven month long trip around the world. If you like what you see, you can subscribe to my free monthly newsletter. Or, if you feel the need to meet me in person, check out my events page.

Enjoy!