Ursula Hegi (born May 23, 1946) spent the first 18 years of her life in post-World War II Germany. When she tried to ask questions about the war, she received only vague answers and heard little about the Holocaust. Hegi immigrated to the United States in 1964. Now an award-winning novelist, Hegi is best known for her book Stones from the River. Picked by Oprah Winfrey as a selection for Oprah's highly successful book club, the prequel to Hegi's highly-praised Floating In My Mother's Palm traces the path of average Germans during the turbulent wartime years from 1915 to 1952. Narrated by a dwarf who eventually learned that being different is a secret that all humans share, Stones from the River was nominated for a PEN Faulkner Award and received the Governor's Writer's Award. Also the author of the books Intrusions, Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories, and Salt Dancers, Hegi is the recipient of more than two dozen grants and awards, including an NEA Fellowship and five awards from PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards. She has also written over 100 reviews for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post.