Raised in cities and small towns around Michigan, Donald Lystra received degrees in electrical engineering and sociology from the University of Michigan. He worked on electrical power plants before beginning to write fiction in the mid-1990s. His first novel, Season of Water and Ice, captured both the Midwest Book Award and the Michigan Notable Book Award in 2010. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony, where he was honored with the Gerald Freund award for emerging writers. His short fiction has received Special Mention in the Pushcart Prizes. Lystra and his wife divide their time between Ann Arbor and a farm in northern Michigan. He has two grown children.