Andrea Hairston was a math/physics major in college until she did special effects for a show and then she ran off to the theatre and became an artist. She is the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre and has created original productions with music, dance, and masks for over thirty years. She is also the Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Afro-American Studies at Smith College. Her plays have been produced at Yale Rep, Rites and Reason, the Kennedy Center, StageWest, and on Public Radio and Television. She has received many playwriting and directing awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Grant to Playwrights, a Rockefeller/NEA Grant for New Works, a Ford Foundation Grant to collaborate with Senegalese Master Drummer Massamba Diop, and a Shubert Fellowship for Playwriting.
Her first novel, Mindscape, was published by Aqueduct Press in March 2006. Mindscape won the Carl Brandon Parallax Award and was shortlisted for the Phillip K Dick Award and the Tiptree Award. "Griots of the Galaxy," a short story, appears in So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Visions of the Future, an anthology edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan. In March 2011, Ms. Hairston will receive the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts Distinguished Scholarship Award for distinguished contributions to the scholarship and criticism of the fantastic.