Biography of Wayson Choy

Wayson Choy was born on April 20, 1939 in Vancouver, Canada to Chinese-Canadian parents. He was raised in Vancouver's Chinatown neighborhood, which is also the setting for some of his fiction. Choy studied creative writing at the University of British Columbia and began publishing short fiction during that time. After graduation, however, he focused on building his teaching career. In 1962, Choy moved to Toronto where he taught English for many years.

Choy published his first novel, The Jade Peony, in 1995. He subsequently published two memoirs and one other novel. His first memoir, Paper Shadows, was published in 1999, and describes his childhood as well as the discovery that he was adopted and his coming to terms with his orientation as a gay man. His second memoir, Not Yet: a Memoir of Living and Almost Dying (2009), described his experiences with serious illness. Choy died in 2019 in Toronto. He is known as an important figure in Asian Canadian literature, and in LGTBQ literature.

Study Guides on Works by Wayson Choy

Published in 1995, The Jade Peony is author Wayson Choy’s first novel. The settings and themes reflect Choy's own experiences growing up in Vancouver's Chinatown neighborhood. The book was a significant critical success, and has been subsequently...