Katherine Min (1959-2019) was a journalist, professor, and fiction writer who incorporated her own experiences as an Asian American into her work. She was in residence eight times between 1995 and 2013, had a deep connection to MacDowell, and has left her mark as both a talented writer and a generous soul.
Min, inspired by her habit of telling colorful lies and stories to her classmates, knew she wanted to be a fiction writer from a young age. She attended Amherst College and the Columbia School of Journalism before working as a journalist in Boston and Seoul, Korea. Despite her career in journalism, Min continued to write fiction. When she became an adjunct professor at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, her work was published in literary journals such as Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly, and The Threepenny Review.
She received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1992, a Pushcart Prize for Courting a Monk in 1998, and a New Hampshire State Council for the Arts Fellowship in 1998 and 2004. In 1999, The Brick was selected for a reading on National Public Radio. Min’s novel Secondhand World, which she worked on during several residencies at MacDowell, was published by Knopf in 2006, and was a finalist for the PEN/Bingham Prize. She taught literature and creative writing at the University of North Carolina, the Queens University M.F.A. program, and the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival.
She was writing her second novel, The Fetishist, in 2014 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and changed the direction of her writing from fiction to memoir. Min was an artist-in-residence at Yaddo, Hambidge, the Millay Colony, Ledig House, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Jentel, Ucross, and MacDowell. She received a North Carolina State Arts Council Fellowship in 2009 and the Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award in 2012.
In 2019, Min's family established the Katherine Min Fellowship at MacDowell.