Alai was born in 1959 in Sichuan Province, of Rgyalrong Tibetan descent. As well as critically acclaimed collections of poetry, short stories and essays, he has written a number of novels, including the internationally bestselling Red Poppies: A Novel of Tibet, which was shortlisted for the 2002 Kiriyama Prize.

Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin are award-winning translators who have rendered the works of many of China’s and Taiwan’s finest writers into English. They live happily in Boulder, Colorado, USA.