Born in Hangzhou, China, Lien Chao came to Canada in 1984 to pursue her graduate studies at York University in Toronto. She completed her M.A. in 1986 and her Ph.D in English in 1995. Her first book, Beyond Silence: Chinese Canadian Literature in English (1997), won the 1997 Gabrielle Roy Award for Canadian Criticism. She has published two bilingual poetry collections, Maples and the Stream (1999) and More Than Skin Deep (2001). Her work also includes Tiger Girl (Hu Nu) (2001), and Strike the Wok: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Canadian Fiction, which she co-edited. Her first collection of short stories, The Chinese Knot, was published in spring 2008.