Alireza Mortezai was born in Tehran, Iran, but grew up in Houston, Texas, and northern New Jersey. His writing draws on his travels through Iran in recent years. He earned a graduate degree in modern European literature from Columbia University, where he was a student of Orhan Pamuk. He has studied creative writing at Harvard and with Fiona Maazel. He is presently completing his first novel and is based in New York City.