Award winning journalist and author PALLAVI AIYAR spent six years living in a hutong home in the heart of the old imperial city of Beijing. She reported from across China for the Hindu and Indian Express in addition to teaching English at the Beijing Broadcasting Institute. She is the winner of the 2007 Prem Bhatia Memorial Award for excellence in political reporting and analysis for her dispatches from China. Her book Smoke and Mirrors: An Experience of China won the Vodafone-Crossword Popular Book Award for 2008. Her first novel, Chinese Whiskers, was published by Harper Collins India to excellent reviews. She currently lives in Brussels with her husband, son and two Chinese cats, where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Pallavi has degrees in Philosophy, History and Media Sociology from St. Stephens College Delhi University, Oxford and the London School of Economics.