Luiz Ruffato was born in Minas Gerais in south-eastern Brazil in 1961, into a family of poor Italian immigrants. He initially worked as a haberdashery salesman and textile worker but soon moved to Juiz de Fora where he worked as a turner-machinist and studied journalism at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora. He made his debut as a novelist in 2001 with Eles Eram Muitos Cavalos (There were Many Horses), which received the Machado de Assis National Library Prize and the Paulista Arts Critics Prize. Ruffato has also published De Mim Já Nem Se Lembra/They No Longer Remember Me (2007), Estive em Lisboa e Lembrei de Você/I Was in Lisbon and was Reminded of You (2009), and the Inferno Provisório (Provisional Hell) project, which is made up of five volumes and studies the development of the Brazilian proletariat from the 1950s to 2000. These books have earned significant awards such as the Jabuti prize, the Brazilian Book Chamber prize, and the Cuban Casa de las América prize. His books have been published in Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Portugal, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Cuba. The author lives in São Paulo. In spring 2012, he was Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of Berkeley.