Charles Frazier was born in 1950 and grew up in western North Carolina. Frazier received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of North Carolina and his doctorate in American literature from the University of South Carolina. He taught at the University of Colorado and North Carolina State University before writing his first novel, Cold Mountain. He based the bestselling book on true stories written by his great-great-grandfather in journals during the Civil War period. Cold Mountain won the National Book Award.