Ron Hansen was born in Omaha Nebraska in 1947.He received a BA degree in English from Creighton University in Nebraska in 1970. He is the author of more than 20 books, stories, and anthologies. He received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters for his book Nebraska, a collection of short fiction, in 1989. Some of his other works include Mariette in Ecstasy; the children's book, The Shadowmaker; Desperadoes; the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which won the John Edgar Wideman Award in 1984; and the novel Atticus, a suspenseful murder mystery detailing a father's fierce love for his son. Atticus was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1996. Among the anthologies written by Hansen are The Sun So Hot I Froze To Death, Can I Just Sit Here For A While?, and True Romance. His short stories, with titles ranging from "His Dog" to "Playland," have appeared in the Stanford Alumni Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, the Iowa Review, Esquire, and many others. Besides holding Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, Hansen has received a Lyndhurst Foundation Grant and is a fellow of the University of Michigan Society of Fellows. Hansen has also held the position of Gerald Manley Hopkins S.J. Professor of Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University. In May 2006 he was inducted into the College of Fellows at Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology. Also in that year The Assasination of Jesse James was adapted for the screen. In 2009 Mariette In Ecstasy was adapted for the stage at Lifetime Theater in Chicago.