Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and her first novel, When the Emperor Was Divine won the 2003 Asian American Literary Award and the 2003 American Library Association’s Alex Award. Her second novel, The Buddha in the Attic, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2011 and won the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the 2011 Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction. The Buddha in the Attic was an international best seller and the winner of the prestigious Prix Femina Étranger in 2012, and the Albatros Literaturpreis in 2013. The Swimmers is her most recent novel. She lives in New York City.