Neil Simon Gordon was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on February 8, 1958. He received a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Michigan, a master's degree from the University of Paris, and a doctorate from Yale University. His debut novel, The Sacrifice of Isaac, was published in 1995. His other novels included The Gun Runner's Daughter, You're a Big Girl Now, and The Company You Keep, which was adapted into a movie. He also was the dean of Eugene Lang College at the New School in New York, the dean of the American University of Paris, and the founding literary editor of Boston Review. He died from multiple myeloma on May 19, 2017 at the age of 58.