Fred Waitzkin was born in Cambridge, Mass. When he was a teenager he wavered between wanting to spend his life as a fisherman, Afro-Cuban drummer, or novelist. He went to Kenyon College and did graduate study at New York University. After a brief stint teaching English in St. Thomas, Waitzkin settled in New York City with his wife Bonnie, where he wrote for Esquire, Forbes, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, New York magazine, Outside, and Sports Illustrated. In 1984, Waitzkin published Searching for Bobby Fischer, the story of three years in the lives of Fred and his chess prodigy son, Josh. The book became an internationally acclaimed bestseller. In 1993 the movie version was released by Paramount and was nominated for an Academy Award. In 1993, Waitzkin published Mortal Games, a biography of world chess champion, Garry Kasparov. In 2000 he published The Last Marlin, a memoir that was selected by The New York Times as “a best book of the year.” In the spring of 2013 St. Martin’s Press published The Dream Merchant, Waitzkin’s first novel.