Hsu, Albert Y. 1972- (Al Hsu)
Hsu, Albert Y. 1972- (Al Hsu)
Born 1972; married; wife's name Ellen (a publishing rights manager), 1997; children: Josiah, Elijah. Education: Graduate of Minnesota Bible College, Rochester, MN; Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, M.A.
Home—Downers Grove, IL. Office— InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515.
Writer and editor. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1994—, began as promotional writer and print publicity manager, became associate editor and developmental editor. Christian Church of Clarendon Hills, worship team pianist and church librarian.
Singles at the Crossroads: A Fresh Perspective on Christian Singleness, InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1997.
Grieving a Suicide: A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers, & Hope, InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 2002.
The Suburban Christian: Finding Spiritual Vitality in the Land of Plenty, IVP Books/InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 2006.
Albert Y. Hsu is an acquisitions and developmental editor with InterVarsity Press, which publishes works on Christian spirituality, discipleship, cultural critique, multiethnic issues, and other areas, noted a biographer on the InterVarsity Press Web site.
As a writer, Hsu deals with deeply personal issues from a Christian perspective. In Grieving a Suicide: A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers, & Hope, Hsu "compassionately examines the emotional and theological issues of suicide," commented Booklist reviewer June Sawyers. His consideration of the terrible emotional toll of suicide on survivors is given greater poignancy as Hsu's own father committed suicide at the age of fifty-nine, following the effects of a stroke and depression. Hsu acknowledges the difficulty in dealing with the results of a suicide, and how it is expected and normal for survivors to agonize over such questions as why it happened and if it could have been prevented. Though he addresses the morality of suicide from a religious perspective, Hsu suggests that forgiving the suicide is an important part of healing for those left behind. Hsu guides survivors in ways of seeking relief from the trauma by remembering, finding meaning, and connecting with others. His mission is to help others actively mourn their loss and heal from their grief, while still remembering and honoring those who have been compelled to take their own lives. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book "biblical, well reasoned, clearly presented, and thoroughly researched," while Christianity Today reviewer Mark Galli noted that Hsu's work is "grounded in both reality and Christian hope."
In The Suburban Christian: Finding Spiritual Vitality in the Land of Plenty, Hsu "finds in suburban living a deep spiritual longing," remarked Lauren F. Winner in Books & Culture. The suburban life is often characterized by material needs and the necessity of making a living. However, Hsu suggests that the suburbs are still fertile ground for spiritual pursuit, and that a Christian can find spiritual fulfillment even in the bustle and sprawl of suburbia. Among his suggestions, "Hsu urges us to recover the parish mindset—that is, to go to the church down the block and join in what God is doing there, rather than shopping for the perfect fit and winding up at a church two suburbs away," Winner observed. Much of Hsu's prescription is based on reclaiming a sense of local involvement, and in utilizing the resources that exist within a neighborhood or suburban zone. Reviewer June Sawyers, writing in Booklist, called Hsu "an immensely appealing writer," and noted that his evaluation "will resonate with many suburbanites and nonsuburbanites alike." A Publishers Weekly contributor concluded that Hsu offers readers "a thoughtful critique of what living Christianly in the suburbs should look like."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2002, June Sawyers, review of Grieving a Suicide: A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers, & Hope, p. 1802; July 1, 2006, June Sawyers, review of The Suburban Christian: Finding Spiritual Vitality in the Land of Plenty, p. 12.
Books & Culture, May-June, 2006, Lauren F. Winner, "God of the Latte," review of The Suburban Christian, p. 24.
Christianity Today, January, 2003, "Self-Inflicted Escape," review of Grieving a Suicide, p. 68; February, 2007, Allan Sholes, review of The Suburban Christian, p. 124.
Publishers Weekly, May 27, 2002, review of Grieving a Suicide, p. 55; May 29, 2006, review of The Suburban Christian, p. 56.
Albert Y. Hsu Web log,http://www.thesuburbanchristian.blogspot.com (June 14, 2007).
InterVarsity Press Web site,http://www.ivpress.com/ (June 14, 2007), biography of Albert Y. Hsu.