Adeline Yen Mah was born in Tianjin, China. She lived in Shanghai as a child and from shelter to shelter until settling down in a Hong Kong boarding school at age 11. At age 14, she won an international playwriting competition that convinced her emotionally distant father to allow her to study abroad. Although she had a passion for writing, she attended London Hospital Medical School, graduated as a physician and established a thriving medical practice in California.
After the commercial success of her first novel, Falling Leaves, in 1997, Mrs. Yen Mah decided to leave her medical practice to write full time. Chinese Cinderella was her second novel, receiving the award from the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California in 2000 for Compelling Autobiography and Lamplighter’s Award from National Christian School Association in June 2002 for Contribution to Exceptional Children’s Literature. She has released two other novels, Watching the Tree and A Thousand Pieces of Gold.
Adeline is Founder and President of the Falling Leaves Foundation. The mission of her foundation is to promote understanding between East and West and to provide funds for the study of China’s history, language and culture. Toward this end, she has started the website to teach Chinese over the internet at no cost to the subscriber.
She is married to Professor Robert A. Mah, with whom she has a daughter; she also has a son from a previous marriage.