Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing, China, and came to the Unites States in 1996. She is the recipient of several prizes for her writing, including the Guardian First Book Award for A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, and an M.F.A. from The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Li's stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and elsewhere, and her first novel, The Vagrants, was published in 2009. She lives in California with her husband and their two sons.