Per Petterson was born in Norway on July 18, 1952. He is a trained librarian and before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a bookstore clerk, translator and literary critic. His first work, Aske i munnen, sand i skoa (Ash in His Mouth, Sand in His Shoe), a volume of short stories, was published in 1987. His other works include These are Ekkoland (1989), Det er greit for meg (1992), and To Siberia (1996). He has won numerous awards including the prestigious Norwegian literary prize Brageprisen for In the Wake (2000) and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in the UK, the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize, and the Norwegian Critics' Award for best novel for Out Stealing Horses (2003).