Jenny Zhang’s debut story collection, Sour Heart, conjures the experience of adolescence through the eyes of Chinese American girls growing up in New York City and is the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN/Robert. W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the O. Henry Prize, a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award and a Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize, as well as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. The New Yorker writes, “Jenny Zhang’s Sour Heart combines ingenious and tightly controlled technical artistry with an unfettered emotional directness that frequently moves, within single sentences, from overwhelming beauty to abject pain.” Jenny co-wrote a feature film adaptation of the collection for A24.
In 2012, she published a book of poetry titled, Dear Jenny, We Are All Find. Jenny’s second collection of poetry, My Baby First Birthday was published in 2020 from Tin House Books. In addition to her fiction and poetry, Zhang’s essays have been published by the New York Times, Harper’s, Harper’s Bazaar, and Rookie. Her essay “How It Feels,” which is a meditation on depression, suicide, and excess, was published in Poetry Magazine and a finalist for a National Magazine Award. A wearer of many hats, Jenny has also written for television and worked in TV writers’ rooms for HBO, Netflix, Amazon, USA Network, and Apple TV. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Stanford University.