Alison Wong was born and raised in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, after her great grandparents on both sides migrated from China's Guangdong province in the late nineteenth century. She studied mathematics, and later creative writing, at Victoria University of Wellington, spent several years in China, and worked in IT.
In 2002 Alison was the Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago. Her poetry collection, Cup, was shortlisted for the Jessie McKay Best First Book for Poetry at the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards and her poetry was selected for Best New Zealand Poems 2006 and 2007.
Her first novel, As the Earth Turns Silver, is published by Penguin NZ and Picador Australia, UK and Asia; in French as Les Amants Papillons by Liana Levi and Points Seuil; and is currently being translated into Spanish by Siruela and into Polish by Wydawnictwo Nasza Ksiegarnia.
As the Earth Turns Silver won the 2009 Janet Frame Award for Fiction, was shortlisted for the 2010 Nielsen Bookdata New Zealand Booksellers Choice Award and was voted by New Zealand readers as one of their all-time Whitcoulls Top 100 Books. It won the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Award for Fiction and is shortlisted for the 2010 Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.
After spending most of her adult life in the Wellington region, Alison now lives with her husband and son in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, with regular trips back to New Zealand.