Natalia Smirnova was born in 1962 in the Siberian city of Yakutsk and later moved to Yekaterinburg in the Urals. A philologist by training, she taught at the Urals University before moving to Moscow to work for a publishing house. Smirnova has received wide acclaim for her collections of short stories and novels, which include Businesswoman and The Clever and the Impudent. Her story 'The Women and the Shoemakers' won the Fellowship of the Hawthornden International Writers' Retreat award. Her work has been translated into Italian, French and English.