Gary Krist was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1957. He graduated from Princeton University and studied literature at the Universitaet Konstanz on a Fulbright Scholarship. He is an author and journalist. His first collection of short stories, The Garden State, was published in 1988 and won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction. His other works of fiction include Bone by Bone, Bad Chemistry, Chaos Theory, and Extravagance. His non-fiction works include The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche and City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster that Gave Birth to Modern Chicago. He is a regular book reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, Salon, and the Washington Post Book World. He has won numerous awards including the Stephen Crane Award and a Lowell Thomas Gold Medal for Travel Journalism.