Brian Ascalon Roley

Brian Roley

Director of Creative Writing
Professor of English and Creative Writing
Affiliate, Global and Intercultural Studies
Pre-Law Faculty Advisor

328 Bachelor Hall
Oxford Campus


  • JD, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MFA, Creative Writing, Cornell University, 1998
  • BA, Philosophy, Wesleyan University

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Creative writing
  • Film, Theatre and Literature Adaptations
  • Disability / Medical Narratives
  • Contemporary and Twentieth Century Literature
  • Asian American Literature
  • Literature and the Law

Selected Publications

(For more, see


  • Ambuscade, Finishing Line Press (Winner, Open Chapbook Competition Award), 2021.
  • The Last Mistress of Jose Rizal (and other stories). Northwestern University Press, 2016. 
  • American Son: A Novel (W.W. Norton, 2001). Winner of the Association of Asian American Studies Prose Book Award 2003; a New York Times Editor’s Choice and Notable Book of the Year; a Los Angeles Times Best Book; a selection; Kiriyama Pacific Rim Prize Finalist.
  • American Son, translated into French by Francois Happe (Christian Bourgois Editeur, 2006).

Shorter Works

  • Fiction, literary essays and poetry appear in a wide range of anthologies, such as Charlie Chan is Dead 2: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction (ed. Jessica Hagedorn; Penguin); California Uncovered: Stories for the 21st Century (selected by Chitra Divakaruni, published by Heydey Books); Mixed: An Anthology of Short Fiction from the Multiracial Experience (ed. Chandra Prasad; W.W. Norton, 2006); Los Angeles Noir (ed. Denise Hamilton, Akashic 2007); and several popular anthologies in the Philippines.
  • Short story and novella work, and essays and poetry, have also appeared in numerous national periodicals, such as Epoch, The Georgia Review, The North American Review, The San Francisco Chronicle, The American Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, Ascent, The Asian American Literary Review, Post Road Magazine, Fence and The Seattle Review.

Awards and Honors (Selected)

  • National Endowment of the Arts Literature Fellow, 2020
  • Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, 2018
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Arts (London)
  • Association of Asian American Studies 2003 Prose Book Award
  • New York Times Notable Book
  • Los Angeles Times Best Book
  • Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize finalist
  • Featured in the California Council for the Humanities 2004 statewide reading program
  • Salon Best of May
  • Lawrence Foundation Award
  • Djerassi Artist Residency Fellow
  • Ragdale Foundation Residency Fellowship
  • Virginia Center for the Creative Artists Residency Fellowship
  • Arthur Lynn Andrews Prize
  • Sage Fellow
  • Faulkner Society Prize finalist in novella category
  • Kurt Vonnegut Prize finalist

Work in Progress

Brian is working on a couple of novels set in the Philippine diaspora, both with disability narratives. He is also working on a collaborative piece: A book-length narrative in words and photographs, about a disabled boy and his family who are sent to the Japanese American Internment Camps of World War II, and their struggles to adapt and integrate, as well as the enduring emotional repercussions half a century later. For details, see