I grew up in Washington, DC, and have lived in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Missouri, England, Israel, Michigan, Oregon, North Carolina, Illinois and Indiana. For several years in my twenties I worked on the night desk at the Washington Post, and to psyche myself up for the long haul of writing books, I rode a bike from Washington State to Massachusetts. My first novel, The Obituary Writer, was a 2000 New York Times Notable Book and a Borders Original Voices selection; my second, Drives Like a Dream, was a 2005 Chicago Tribune Book of the Year and a People "Great Reads" selection; and my third, When the White House Was Ours, was a 2008 Chicago Tribune Book of the Year and a Reading Group Choices featured selection. I have coedited six anthologies and published fiction, nonfiction, Op-Eds and book reviews in many journals, magazines and newspapers, including Witness, Northwest Review, Salon, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post and the New York Times. I have been featured or interviewed on NPR's Morning Edition, the Diane Rehm Show and many other programs, and I have taught at the University of Michigan, the University of Oregon, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Butler University and Purdue University. This summer I will be moving to the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife Bich Minh Nguyen and our two children.