Paula McLain was born in Fresno, California in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System and moved in and out of foster homes for the next 14 years. She received a MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996. She has written several books including two collections of poetry called Less of Her and Stumble, Gorgeous, a memoir called Like Family: Growing up in Other People's Houses, and two novels A Ticket to Ride and The Paris Wife. She has published individual poems and essays in numerous journals including the Gettysburg Review, Antioch Review, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine.