Dori Jones Yang, author
Dori Jones Yang has written, co-authored, compiled, and translated a wide variety of books, including historical fiction, inspiration, biographies, oral histories, and children’s books. A former foreign correspondent in Asia, she aims to build bridges between cultures and generations. Her lively new children's book, The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball, published in 2017, tells of two brothers sent by the Emperor of China to live and learn in America in the 1870s.
Daughter of a bookseller, Dori grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. Her childhood was spent reading books and writing stories. In high school, she fell in love with foreign language and travel, starting with a summer in France. After her father suggested a career in journalism, she began a summer internship with her hometown newspaper, The Vindicator, where she wrote feature stories and obituaries. At Princeton, she majored in history but spent most of her waking hours at the college newspaper, The Daily Princetonian.
After graduation, she won a Princeton-in-Asia fellowship and lived in Singapore for two years, teaching English and studying Mandarin Chinese. She traveled all over Asia on a shoestring and returned home through Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran, six months before the Shah fell. To deepen her understanding of these countries, she earned a master’s at Johns Hopkins in international affairs, with a focus on China.
The most exciting move of her journalism career was the day Business Week sent her to Hong Kong to be a foreign correspondent. The magazine's youngest foreign bureau chief, at age twenty-eight, she covered China and Southeast Asia, including the negotiations over Hong Kong’s future and the Tiananmen Square crisis in Beijing. During these eight years in Hong Kong, she met and married Paul Yang, and their daughter, Emily, was born.
After moving to the Seattle area in 1990, Dori covered Northwest companies for Business Week and later worked for U.S. News & World Report, covering Microsoft, Silicon Valley, and the dot-com boom and bust.
In 1995, she began writing books: business, children’s, young adult, oral history. Her first book, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, reached several bestseller lists and is still selling well. Her historical novels. Daughter of Xanadu and Son of Venice, tell a story of cross-cultural romance: something she knows about personally! Her first children's book, The Secret Voice of Gina Zhang, won two awards. Her 2017 children's book, The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball, for readers 10 and up, won eight awards.
At Princeton, she studied writing with John McPhee. In Seattle, her mentor is novelist and nature writer Brenda Peterson. She earned two certificates in fiction writing from University of Washington and studied memoir writing with Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Myers.
Dori speaks Mandarin Chinese and has dabbled in French, Cantonese, Japanese, Spanish, German, Italian, and Malay. She also seeks joy in playing music, including piano, violin, cello, and the Chinese zither, called the guzheng. She has traveled widely throughout the world, including Mongolia, Tibet, and the Silk Road.
She loves speaking to libraries, schools, women's groups, and book clubs about her books. To inquire about scheduling a class visit or skype meeting, please see Contact page.