Madeleine Thien was born in Vancouver in 1974 to Malaysian-Chinese immigrants. She attended Simon Fraser University, as well as the University of British Columbia, where she graduated with an MFA in creative writing. She is the former editor of Ricepaper magazine. In 2001 she was awarded the Canadian Authors Association Air Canada Award for most promising writer under 30. She has also garnered numerous awards for her books, including the City of Vancouver Book Award, the VanCity Book Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Her first novel, Certainty, won the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Ovid Festival Prize and was a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize for Fiction.