About me

My name is Shirley Wang. I'm a writer from Iowa City, Iowa.

My radio story "My Dad’s Friendship with Charles Barkley for NPR’s Only A Game, about my late father and his unusual friendship with a basketball celebrity, came out in 2018 and received millions of listeners around the world. I got to hear from all sorts of people about how they were moved by this story of grieving, as they reflected on their own meaningful life experiences.

Their reactions (which I wrote about here) reminded me that with the right combination of care and story craft, it is possible to tell powerful, memorable stories about anyone. Currently, I work with publications and media organizations to create fresh, funny, and emotionally resonating pieces around issues of everyday life. I am fascinated by complicated interpersonal dynamics, miscommunication, and the rich inner lives people have whilst they go about their day. Hopefully reading my writing makes people feel seen, and less alone.

If you liked my radio story, you can read this one about the Chinese Church in Iowa City, where my family hosted New Years parties — or this one about Vedant Gupta, an 13-year-old aspiring sports media influencer whose dad is also greatly entertaining. You can also find my work at The New York Times, 99 Percent Invisible, Catapult, Popula, and NBC.

Email me at hi.shirleywang@gmail.com. My blog is at shiapetdiary.com. I also blog about articles from academic journals here.

meme that describes me: Scared Hamster.

That’s it!