Chang-rae Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea and emigrated to the US in 1968, aged two. He grew up in the New York City area and began his university education at Yale, before moving on to the University of Oregon, where he gained his MFA. His first novel, Native Speaker, was an enormous critical success on both sides of the Atlantic, receiving the PEN/Hemingway Award, the American Book Award and the ALA Book of the Year Award. Both Native Speaker and his second novel, A Gesture Life (1999), are published by Granta Books. Chang rae-Lee currently combines writing with teaching, and he directs the MFA programme in creative writing at the Hunter College of City University, in New York. His most recent novel is Aloft.