Born and raised in Chicago, Larry Heinemann is the author of three novels and numerous short stories and essays. In his novels Close Quarters and Paco's Story, which won the National Book Award for fiction in 1986, Heinemann used his experience as an infantryman with the 25th Division of the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War to relate the horrors of war. The novel Cooler by the Lake, written in 1992, was Heinemann's first attempt at writing a book with a theme other than war. Heinemann's short stories and essays have appeared in a multitude of journals and magazines, among them Harper's, Playboy, Atlantic Monthly, Entertainment Weekly, Tri-Quarterly, and the Vietnam Writers Association Journal of Arts and Letters. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council. Lecturing and teaching at universities, writer's workshops, and veteran's groups in the United States, Vietnam, England, China, and the Soviet Union have kept Heinemann quite busy, although he still considers himself a "househusband."