Mia Yun was born and lived in Korea until she came to the United States as a graduate student. She received an MFA in creative writing from City College of New York. House of the Winds is her first novel and was published in October 1998 by Interlink Books.
Of the book, the Kirkus Reviews said, "A Korean-American writer's first novel records the progress of its unnamed narrator's girlhood in Seoul in the early 1960s. Her doting mother (long known as 'Young Wife') is a bewitching repository of fanciful tales festooned with magical-realist drollery: birds cry rather than sing, and butterflies house the souls of children who have died in their sleep. Subtly linked episodes are dominated by such vivid figures as Young Wife's own mother, an 'infamous hypochondriac' and inexhaustible fount of stories; infrequent visits from 'the stranger who was said to be my father'; an irreverent peddler (the Falstaffian 'Pumpkin Wife'); a house haunted by weeping women ghosts; and the narrator's saddened farewells to her parents and siblings on embarkation to America. A lovely, lyrical coming-of-age tale, graced by judiciously blended notes of humor and melancholy. A superlative debut."