Li-Young Lee Biography | Author of The Weight of Sweetness

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Li-Young Lee's poetry has often been praised for its tenderness and passion. A relentless examination of his past and his emotional vulnerability characterize his poetry. Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1957 to Richard K. Y. Lee and Joice Yuan Jiaying, Lee was raised among the social unrest and political turbulence of Indonesia in the late 1950s. His mother is the granddaughter of China's provisional president, Yuan Shikai, elected in 1912 during the country's transition from monarchy to republic. His Chinese father was once Mao Tsetung's personal physician, and when anti-Chinese rioting erupted in Jakarta in 1959, the elder Lee was imprisoned for nineteen months for sedition. Lee's memories and stories of this time appear in his memoir, The Winged Seed.

An educator and a minister as well as a physician, Lee's father instilled a love of literature in his children, reciting poems from the Tang Dynasty and reading the King James...

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This section contains 385 words
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Poetry for Students
The Weight of Sweetness from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.