I was born in the former Soviet Union to a Russian mother and American father during the Cold War. Growing up in Riverside, California, I spent a lot of time in orange groves and reading Russian literature (but, alas, never at the same time). I have since lived in Virginia and Nebraska and currently call Connecticut home. I have a BA in comparative literature from the University of California, Riverside, an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to writing, editing, teaching, and mothering, I spend a lot of time looking at trees.