Olga Grushin was born in 1971 in Moscow. In 1976 her father found himself at odds with the state, and her family moved to Prague, where she began writing fairy tales about ‘lonely donkeys and princesses who refused to make their beds’. She returned to Moscow in 1981, and in 1989 accepted an invitation to enter Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, as the first Soviet citizen to pursue an American undergraduate degree. Her first novel, The Dream Life of Sukhanov, won the 2007 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award for New Writers, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Award for First Fiction and was shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers. In the same year she was chosen as one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists.