Victor LaValle is the author of Slapboxing with Jesus, a book of stories, and three novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, and The Devil in Silver. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Shirley Jackson Award and the key to Southeast Queens. His writing has appeared in Granta, The Paris Review, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, and Bookforum, among others. He was raised in Queens, New York. He now lives in Washington Heights with his wife and children. He teaches at Columbia University.