Salesses was born in South Korea and adopted by American parents at age 2. He grew up in Storrs, Conn. and attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he studied English and creative writing. After college he taught English abroad, first in Prague and then in South Korea. He earned a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Emerson College. Salesses is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Coe College.
Salesses is the author of the novel The Hundred-Year Flood (Little A, 2015). He is also the author of Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear: A Novel (Little A, 2020); Craft in the Real World (Catapult Books, 2021); I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying (Civil Coping Mechanisms); Different Racisms: On Stereotypes, the Individual, and Asian American Masculinity (Thought Catalog Books); and The Last Repatriate (Nouvella).
In 2015 Buzzfeed named him one of 32 Essential Asian American Writers. His essays have been published in Best American Essays 2020,NPRCode Switch,The New York Times Motherlode,Glimmer Train, and VICE.com. He has received awards and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Mid-American Review.