Ava Chin is the author of the award-winning Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal (Simon & Schuster, 2014) and the former Urban Forager columnist for the New York Times (2009-2013). She has written for the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, Saveur, Marie Claire, the Village Voice, and SPIN. She is the recipient of grants & fellowships from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers, the Fulbright U.S. Scholar program, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and New York Institute for Humanities at New York University. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and an M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. She is an associate professor of creative nonfiction and journalism at CUNY. The Huffington Post named her one of “9 Contemporary Authors You Should Be Reading.”
Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal was 1st Prize Winner of the MFK Fisher Book Awards, 2015. The New York Times wrote, “In this instructive and often charming book, Chin…explores uncultivated tracts of land—from Prospect Park in Brooklyn to Central Park in Manhattan…in search of physical and emotional sustenance.” Kirkus Reviews described it as “A delectable feast of the heart,” and it was one of Library Journal’s “Best Books of 2014.”
Eating Wildly reveals how foraging and the DIY-food movement taught Chin important lessons in self-reliance. After a break-up and the loss of a beloved family member, she immerses herself in urban nature—discovering the city’s best mushrooms, mulberries, and even a swarm of wild honeybees slated for extermination on Staten Island, meeting fellow foragers and mycologists along the way. As the seasons turn, she starts to see the world as a place of abundance and beauty, where everything is interconnected and interdependent—and timing is key.
She is the editor of Split: Stories From a Generation Raised on Divorce (McGraw-Hill, 2002) a collection of nonfiction essays about growing up in a divorced family, which Booklist called a “brave and insightful collection.”
She lives in Manhattan with her husband and daughter.