Edward Ball was born in Savannah, Georgia; graduated from Brown University; and was a writer for *The Village Voice*. His first book, *Slaves in the Family*, won the National Book Award. He is also the author of *The Sweet Hell Inside*. Edward Ball is the son of an Episcopal priest from an old Southern family in Charleston. His mother was a bookkeeper raised in New Orleans. When he learned that his ancestors once owned many thousands of slaves, he decided to research his family's unsavory past. The result was his first book *Slaves in the Family*.