A first-generation American, Mark Binelli grew up just outside of Detroit, where he worked in his fathers knife-sharpening shop. In an interview, which is available online and will appear in CONTEXT, Binelli said, The knife grinding stuff in the book all comes from my family. Pinzolo, the little town in Italy where my father grew up, for some reason has produced an inordinate number of knife grinders. He graduated from the University of Michigan and received an MFA from Columbia University. He is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die! is his first novel.