Ruiyan Xu was born in Shanghai and moved to the U.S. at the age of ten. She grew up in Virginia and New Jersey, and graduated from Brown University. The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai is her first novel.
Ruiyan won the the 2004 Hochstadt Award from Hedgebrook and a 2005 Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists; she has been awarded residencies by the Anderson Center, the Espy Foundation, Jentel, Millay, Ragdale, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her writing has been published by The New York Times, among other publications. She has mentored young women writers through Girls Write Now and lives in Brooklyn, New York.