Born in College Station, TX. Education: Texas A&M University, undergraduate degree; University of Texas-Austin, master's degree (Asian Studies); University of Southern California, master's degree (fiction and screenwriting); attended Texas State University.
Writer and activist. Has worked as a radio correspondent and a college screenwriting teacher. Previously worked with the United Farm Workers and Cesar Chavez.
The Texas Aggie Bonfire: Tradition and Tragedy at Texas A&M (self-published), It Works, 2000.
(With Chi Huang) When Invisible Children Sing (memoir), SaltRiver (Carol Stream, IL), 2006.
Also author of the short-story collection How I Became a Black Man and Other Metamorphoses (self-published), c. 2004, revised edition, 2006, and a blog at Irwinbooks.com. Contributor to periodicals, including Asian Week and the Nation, and to National Public Radio.
Irwin Tang is a freelance writer who has written two self-published books and coauthored a book about a doctor working with the poor in La Paz, Bolivia. In his book The Texas Aggie Bonfire: Tradition and Tragedy at Texas A&M, Tang writes of a tragedy that occurred during the annual tradition at Texas A&M of burning a huge bonfire prior to the school's football game with the University of Texas. During the 1999 bonfire, the huge stack of wood collapsed and killed twelve students. The author writes about both the history of the bonfire and analyzes the causes of the tragedy. Susan M. Colowick, writing in the Library Journal, noted that the author and others believe "that the bonfire incorporates too many negative aspects of Aggie culture, including bigotry and hazing."
Tang collaborated with Chi Huang to write When Invisible Children Sing, a book about pediatrician and internist Huang's working with the poorest children of La Paz during his fourth year as a Harvard medical student. The book describes the horrendous and filthy living conditions of the children and the inadequate and often inhumane treatment that they receive, even at the country's hospitals. Donna Chavez, writing in Booklist, commented that the book's "powerful testimony sounds a clarion call and ends with a plea for support for [Huang's] Bolivian Street Children Project." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that When Invisible Children Sing "inspires readers to reach out, even to just one child, and make a difference in a life."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Tang, Irwin, and Chi Huang, When Invisible Children Sing, SaltRiver (Carol Stream, IL), 2006.
Booklist, September 15, 2006, Donna Chavez, review of When Invisible Children Sing, p. 13.
Library Journal, September 1, 2001, Susan M. Colowick, review of The Texas Aggie Bonfire: Tradition and Tragedy at Texas A&M, p. 201.
Publishers Weekly, August 28, 2006, review of When Invisible Children Sing, p. 50.
San Antonio Current, August 23, 2006, Elaine Wolff, "Skip the Fortune Cookies, Please," interview with author.
Texas Observer, June 30, 2006, Sofia Resnick, "The Metamorphosis of Irwin Tang."
Asia Pacific Arts Web site,http://www.asiaarts.ucla.edu/ (November 3, 2005), interview with author.