Kyoko Mori was born in Kobe, Japan, in 1957. As a young girl, she learned numerous ways to be creative, including drawing, sewing, and writing, from her mother and her mother's family. From those family members, Mori says, "I came to understand the magic of transformation — a limitless possibility of turning nothing into something."Mori's life changed completely at age 12, when her mother died. Her father remarried one year later, but the household was not a happy one, and Mori looked for ways to stay away from home. Eventually, she moved to the United States to attend college. She then went to graduate school, where she studied creative writing.Mori's writing grows out of her personal experiences, but she doesn't always write exactly what happens in her own life. "I think that the best thing about being a writer is that we get to make up things and tell the truth at the same time," she says. Since she received her doctoral degree in 1984, Mori has taught creative writing and has published fiction, poetry, and essays.