Linda Sue Park
(photo by Sonya Sones)
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Linda Sue Park is the author of many books for young readers, including the 2002 Newbery Medal winner A Single Shard and the New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water. Her most recent title is Prairie Lotus, a historical fiction middle-grade novel. When she’s not writing, speaking, teaching, or caregiving for her two grandchildren, she spends most of her time on equity/inclusion work for We Need Diverse Books and the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. She is also on the advisory board of the Rabbit hOle national children’s literature museum project.
Linda Sue has served as a panelist for several awards and grants, including the Kirkus Prize, the National Book Award, the PEN Naylor grant, and the SCBWI Golden Kite Award. In her travels to promote reading and writing, she has visited more than 30 countries and 49 states. Linda Sue knows very well that she will never be able to read every great book ever written, but she keeps trying anyway.
- Born: 1960, in Urbana Illinois, to parents who had immigrated from Korea.
- One brother, one sister.
- Grew up in Park Forest, Illinois. Attended Blackhawk Elementary, Indiana Elementary, O.W. Huth Junior High, Rich South High School
- College: Stanford University, B.A. in English
- Graduate degrees: Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland & Birkbeck College, Higher Diploma in Anglo-Irish Literature. University of London, M.A. in Modern British Literature.
- Married. Two children. Two grandchildren.
- Interests: Food & cooking, travel, movies, knitting, baseball, snorkeling.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION IN LIST FORM:
Parents, Korean immigrants, naturalized U.S. citizens
Siblings: One brother and one sister
Spouse: Ben Dobbin, from Dublin, Ireland
Children: One boy and one girl
Grandchildren: One boy and one girl
Schools I’ve attended, with memorable teachers:
Blackhawk Elementary, Park Forest 1965-1966
- kindergarten with Mrs. French, who let me read as much as I wanted
Indiana Elementary, Park Forest 1967-1971
- fifth grade, Mrs. Gilchrist, who read aloud every day
- sixth grade, Mrs. McElroy, who made grammar fun and science fascinating
O.W. Huth Upper Grade Center, Matteson 1971-1973
Rich South High School, Richton Park 1973-1977
- Freshman English, Mrs. Merritt, who encouraged me to write
- Freshman Algebra, Mr. Caudill, whom I loved even though I hated math
Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. B.A. English 1977-1981
- writing classes with Brett Singer and Stephanie Vaughn, poetry with Corey Wade
Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. H.Dip, Anglo-Irish Literature 1983-1984
- literature classes with Brendan Kennelly, Terence Brown, David Norris
Birkbeck College, London, England. M.A. Modern British Literature 1986-1988
Libraries that have saved me, where I have been a regular patron
Park Forest Public Library, Park Forest, Illinois
Clapham Library, Clapham, London, England
Brooklyn Public Library, Main branch, Brooklyn, NY
Brighton Memorial Library, Rochester, NY
I have also done research in the ‘old’ British Library Reading Room (now the British Museum Reading Room) and at the Beinecke Rare Books Library at Yale University. Probably my favorite library to hang out in is the Long Room at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
Jobs I have had
- Office assistant
- Cafeteria hasher
- Gymnastics teacher
- Gymnastics judge
- Office assistant (again)
- Newsletter editor
- Public relations writer
- Advertising copywriter
- ESL instructor
- Freelance editor
- Freelance food journalist
- Cooking instructor
- Office assistant (a third time)
- Jeffy, a very smart black miniature poodle
- Cosmo, Border Terrier
- Fergus, Border Terrier.
- Malcolm & Matilda, mini golden doodles
- Pintxo, Italian greyhound
Also turtles, hermit crabs, a rabbit, and hamsters
Countries I have visited:
- Hong Kong
- Northern Ireland
- The Netherlands
- British Virgin Islands
Favorite trip ever: The Galapagos Islands