Celeste Ng was born on July 30, 1980, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ng is a first-generation Chinese-American, and her parents immigrated from Hong Kong before her birth. In interviews, Ng often mentions that she grew up in a "family of scientists." At age ten, Ng's family moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. While there, Ng experienced feelings of isolation and estrangement as an Asian woman in a predominantly white, rural community. This upbringing profoundly influenced the author's decision to document the Asian-American immigrant and racial experience in her body of work.
Ng studied English at Harvard University and received a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. Her writing has received numerous accolades. In 2012, she was awarded the Pushcart Prize for her story "Girls, At Play." She also received the Hopwood Award for her short story, "What Passes Over." Everything I Never Told You, Ng's first published novel, won the Amazon Book of the Year award in 2014.
The author's second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, was published in 2017. As of 2019, both of Ng's novels are in the process of being adapted for the screen. Aside from writing novels, Ng is a regular contributor to various literary journals. She has also taught at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. She currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and son.