Zurlo, Tony 1941-

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ZURLO, Tony 1941-


Born October 7, 1941, in Takoma Park, MD; married Vivian Wei Lu (an educator). Ethnicity: "One-half Italian, a quarter Nigerian, and a quarter Chinese." Education: State University of New York—Stony Brook, M.A. (liberal arts), 1974; University of Texas—Arlington, M.A. (history), 1975; Texas A&M—Commerce, Ed.D. (English), 1980. Politics: Democrat. Hobbies and other interests: Politics, music.


Office—Tarrant County College—Southeast Campus, 2100 Southeast Pkwy., Arlington, TX 76018-3144. E-mail—[email protected].


Wright State University—Lake Campus, Celina, OH, assistant professor of English, 1986-89; Hebei Teachers' University, Shijiazhuang, People's Republic of China, visiting professor of English, 1990-91; Tarrant County College, Arlington, TX, professor of English, 1992—. Former Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria. Member of board of advisors, New Texas journal; member of board of directors, Dallas Soccer. Military service: U.S. Army, 1967-70; became first lieutenant.


National Council of Teachers of English, Friends of Nigeria, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, World Affairs Council of Greater Fort Worth, Fort Worth Sister Cities International.


Numerous first place and finalist awards in regional and state fiction and poetry contests; Minnie Stevens Piper Teaching Award nomination; National Institute for Organizational Development Excellence Award.


Japan: Superpower of Pacific, Dillon Press (New York, NY), 1991.

China: The Dragon Awakes, Dillon Press (New York, NY), 1994.

West Africa, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2001.

Life in Hong Kong, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2001.

China ("Nations in Transition" series), Greenhaven Press (San Diego, CA), 2002.

Japanese Americans, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2003.

Vietnam ("Nations in Transition" series), Greenhaven Press (San Diego, CA), 2004.

Filipino Americans, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2004.

Contributor of poems and short stories to magazines and journals, and book reviews to Peace Corps Writers. Former editor of Friends of Nigeria newsletter.


Poet, short-story writer, and nonfiction book writer Tony Zurlo has written a handful of books for children. As he told CA: "My writing career is directly connected to teaching as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria and as a visiting professor in China later in my career. From these experiences I learned first-hand that people round the world are fundamentally alike." After publishing poems and short stories based on his personal impressions of and adventures in Africa and Asia, he expanded his work in the nineties to writing nonfiction for children. These works, most of which form part of several series, include books about life in Japan, China, and Vietnam, as well as an overview of life in West Africa. "I believe that the key to promoting peace and harmony in the world is by learning about and deepening our understanding of other cultures," he explained, "and by writing I try to share my insights with others." His knowledge of Asian culture is evident in these works, claim critics. Reviewing China: The Dragon Awakes, Booklist's April Judge dubbed the volume "informative" and "interesting." Diane S. Marton of School Library Journal also praised Zurlo for "the clear, informative text," as well as the personal anecdotes and observations in his 2001 title Life in Hong Kong.



Booklist, April 15, 1995, April Judge, review of China: The Dragon Awakes, p. 1497.

School Library Journal, April, 1992, John Philbrook, review of Japan: Superpower of the Pacific, p. 144; June, 2002, Diane S. Marton, review of Life in Hong Kong, p. 171; January, 2003, Diane S. Marton, review of China, p. 173.