Chris Abani was born in Nigeria. At age sixteen he published his first novel, for which he suffered severe political persecution. Abani went into exile in 1991, and has since lived in England and the United States. His book Daphne's Lot, a collection of poetry, won him a 2003 Lannan Literary Fellowship. He is also the recipient of the PEN USA West Freedom to Write Award and the Prince Claus Award. Abani now lives and teaches in Los Angeles.