Matt Ruff was born in New York City in 1965. His father was a hospital chaplain who descended from a line of peaceful Midwestern dairy farmers; his mother was a missionary's daughter who grew up battling snakes and scorpions in the jungles of Brazil. Between the two of them, he received an interesting moral education.

Ruff published his first novel, the cult classic Fool on the Hill, in 1988. His most recent novel, Set This House in Order, won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, a Washington State Book Award, and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He is also the recipient of a 2006 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship.

Ruff lives in Seattle with his wife, Lisa Gold.

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Photo courtesy of Michael Hilliard