Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus and three novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, and his forthcoming book, The Devil in Silver. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the key to Southeast Queens. Big Machine was named a best book of 2009 by Publishers Weekly, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the Nation, and was awarded the Shirley Jackson Award for best novel, the American Book Award, and the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. “Big Machine is like nothing I’ve ever read, incredibly human and alien at the same time…”—Mos Def. LaValle is an Assistant Professor and the Acting Fiction Director at the Columbia University School of the Arts. He lives in New York with his wife, novelist Emily Raboteau.