Jonny Steinberg was born and bred in South Africa. His previous two books, Midlands (2002) and The Number (2004) both won South Africa's premier nonfiction literary award, the Sunday Times Alan Paton Prize. Steinberg was educated at Wits University in Johannesburg, and at Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has worked as a journalist at a national daily, written scripts for television drama, and has been a consultant to the South African government on criminal justice policy. He is currently writing a book about immigrants in New York.