Accomplished Author at Remarkably Young Age: Emily Wang
Numerous Hopkins students wander our beloved campus, possessing unrecognized talents or passions. Emily Wang ‘16 is one such scholar. Her unbridled ardor for writing has led to her first nationally published collection of short stories entitled I’m Fine.
Inspired by her mother’s studies in American Literature and her own literary creations reaching back to second grade, Wang has parlayed her dedication to writing into an impressive anthology of short stories. I’m Fine is a 200-page collection of sixteen fictional tales.
While Wang never set out to publish a book, her fictional pieces have been submitted and published in TeenInk and YARN, and even led Wang to win a Scholastics Art and Writing contest. She believed that putting them into a collection was the “next logical step.” While she stated that the individual selections of her compilation are varied in theme, she does admit that her works are each “about the struggles of people who don’t quite fit in, some due to extreme circumstances and others because they are who they are.” The epigraph of her literary collection is a line from Anna Karenina by Tolstoy: “Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?” Wang stated her “hope that the reader will take from my stories—the emotion I’m trying to convey. If the reader is moved emotionally, may it be in sadness, anger, or fear among others, I find that a success.”
When pressed for her favorite piece of the book, Wang conceded that she starts her publication with her cherished tale “Confessions of a Reaper,” inspired by one of her favorite novels, The Book Thief. However, when one of Wang’s English teachers was asked the same question of I’m Fine, a resounding “all of them!” was enthusiastically put forward by Joseph Addison. Addison, Wang’s “Writing Semester” teacher. Addison commented, “Emily has a burning desire to write, and I really just tried to help facilitate that during Writing Semester. When you have a student who is committed to the writing process, you really just try to keep that "re burning, and that was very easy with Emily.” Addison added, “Emily has a very good sense of cadence, and her prose undulates with purpose; she is a very natural storyteller.” In her book’s acknowledgements, Wang specifically thanks Addison, English teacher Benjamin Johnson and others at Hopkins who supported her published work.
Hardships were abundant in creating her book. Wang explained how one such obstacle is finding a publisher for a new writer. However, her agent, Debbie Carter, believed in her talent and matched Wang with Vintage Contemporaries, who ultimately published I’m Fine. Wang admitted that the hardest part of publishing a book is finding the time to write as a busy student at Hopkins. Other than savoring her current English course “Literature and Moral Ideals” with teacher Ian Melchinger, she is busy with squash, Science Olympiad, her writing blog, and her freelance programming group. In her free time, she conceded her favorite thing to do is to “spend time with her friends and teachers.”
Wang said her future aspirations include “writing for a school newspaper, becoming a contestant on “Jeopardy”, and maybe discovering a protein or something.” However, whether Alex Trebek comes calling for Emily or not, one fact remains a sure bet for the Daily Double: Emily Wang is an accomplished literary artist of whom Hopkins can be proud!