#AuthorProfile: Shawna Yang Ryan

“Your kind spirit will lead to many new friendships.”

Name: Shawna Yang Ryan
Accomplishments: Fulbright Scholar; Teaches at University of Hawaii
Latest book: Green Island

Shawna Yang Ryan

Shawna Yang Ryan is super sweet and down-to-earth. Her latest novel, Green Island, took many years of research. She ended up interviewing people, both in Taiwan and here in America, about how the 228 Massacre affected their lives. Before penning her book, she also had to process all the turbulent emotions involved in exploring that traumatic time period. Green Island is on my to-be-read list. It’s a deep book that investigates the impact of 228 and imprisonment on one family and asks a heart-wrenching question: How far would you go for the ones you love?

What I find inspiring about Shawna Yang Ryan’s writing career is the way her persistence paid off. She spent time in the writing trenches and eventually published Water Ghosts through a small press. A great review on Shelf Awareness boosted its visibility–the book eventually got picked up by a major publisher (Penguin). During the process, she also got an agent who believed in her talent and has followed her about a decade until the current publication of Green Island.


Foodie Friday First: Durian Ice Cream
Foodie Friday: Fried Taro Rolls


  1. Persistence pays off! Bravo to Shawna Yang Ryan. You’ve been lucky to meet such a dedicated writer. Impressive. Now this novel seems fascinating too. I heard of the 228 Massacre through your blog and novel. Must be inspiring to you to meet someone who chose to write on the topic.

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