Jay Caspian King, writer of the article “Should Reddit Be Blamed for the Spreading of a Smear”, has written many other things beyond this article; his first major piece of work being his novel, The Dead Do Not Improve. He is currently an editor at a company called Grantland, which is a spin-off from ESPN. He has also written pieces for the New York Times Magazine, Wired, and TheAtlantic.com. He also did some work for a high school friend’s blog called Free Darko while he was waiting for his novel to sell. Though it may seem that Kang has always been successful, he did not start off on the most positive note.
Kang was born in Seoul, South Korea but moved to the United States when he was just a baby. He mostly grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he experienced frequent bullying and racism in middle school and high school. His parents also taught him to suppress his emotions, which caused him trouble during his high school years. Kang had struggled with substance abuse along with some gambling problems throughout high school and his early college years. He was even kicked out of Bowdoin College twice for poor behavior and grades before he eventually received his undergraduate degree and started to get things back on track. Kang also states that dealing with his cancer never had a negative impact on his outlook on life.
He became an avid writer when he was quite young. Kang states in an article, “Between the ages of five and fourteen, I wrote every day in a journal. This was my mother’s idea and she hawked over it vigilantly” (2012). Being discriminated against in high school and his struggle with emotions gave him ideas to write in the future. In Y. Peter Kang’s interview with Jay Kang he states, “Kang says he wanted to write a book about Korean American male anger and the idea of growing up in violent households, while at the same time being perceived as emasculated as an Asian American outside the home, and the ‘weird violent mindset’ that can result” (2012). Another topic that he chose to write about was the Virginia Tech. shootings because Kang thinks that it defined his generation of Korean Americans (Kang, 2012). His first novel, The Dead Do Not Improve, was mainly about these topics, which he was passionate about. While waiting for his book to take off, Kang’s love of sports had influenced him to attempt to get in contact with some sports blogs to see if he could do some work for them. Some of Kang’s friends even tried to inspire him to become a sportswriter, but Kang’s dream had always been to become a novelist (Kang, 2012). After the first copy of his book had finally sold, he was then contacted by Grantland to be an editor for their company.
Kang’s writing style is very unique. It is clear that he has had no training in journalistic style, but intrigues readers in different ways. Y. Kang writes, “…but his writing had razor-sharp insights, personal anecdotes people could identify with, as well as humorous hipster references, which is ultimately what set him apart from the thousands of wannabe writers floating around in the blogosphere” (2012). Kang’s credibility is self-explanatory. He has written pieces for many different major publications and even had a small faithful group following him when he was a mere sports blogger, and he is currently an editor for a big company.
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Kang, Y. Peter. (August 6, 2012) Do or Die. KoreAm, August 2012 issue. Retrieved from: http://iamkoream.com/august-issue-jay-caspian-kang-explores-korean-american-male-anger-in- new-novel/
Novelist Jay Caspian King on Journaling. (2012). Read it Forward. Retrieved from: http://www.readitforward.com/jay-caspian-kang-on-journaling/