Yu Hua was born in 1960 in Zhejiang, China. He finished high school during the Cultural Revolution and worked as a dentist for five years before beginning to write in 1983. He's since published four novels, six story and three essay collections, and his work has been translated into French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean. In 2002, he became the first Chinese writer to win the prestigious James Joyce Foundation Award, and two of his novels -- To Live and Chronicles of a Blood Merchant -- were listed in the top ten most influential Chinese books of the last decade. Yu Hua now lives in Beijing.