Lawrence Coates grew up in El Cerrito, California. Before beginning college, Coates served in the Coast Guard and in the Merchant Marine, sailing aboard buoy tenders, oil tankers, and oceanographic research vessels. He holds a B.A. from The University of California at Santa Cruz, an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah. He has published five books, most recently The Goodbye House, a novel set amid the housing tracts of San Jose in the aftermath of the first dot com bust and the attacks of 9/11, and Camp Olvido, a novella set in a labor camp in California’s Great Central Valley. His work has been recognized with the Western States Book Award in Fiction, the Donald Barthelme Prize in Short Prose, the Miami University Press Novella Prize, an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction.