Ruiyan Xu was born in Shanghai and came to the United States at age 10 without speaking a word of English. She graduated from Brown University with honors in creative writing. She won the 2004 Hochstadt Award from Hedgebrook and a 2005 Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists, and has been awarded residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Jentel, Ragdale and the Anderson Center. An excerpt from her book The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai was published by the Great River Review. Xu lives in Brooklyn.