Barry Gifford was born in Chicago in 1946. His novels have been translated into twenty-two languages. His book Night People was awarded the Premio Brancati in Italy, and he has been the recipient of awards from PEN, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Library Association and the Writers Guild of America.
David Lynch's film Wild at Heart, which was based on Gifford's novel, won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1990. Gifford's novel Perdita Durango was made into a feature film by Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia in 1997. Barry Gifford co-wrote with director David Lynch the film Lost Highway (1997); he also co-wrote with director Matt Dillon the film City of Ghosts (2003).
Barry Gifford's other books include The Phantom Father, named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Wyoming, named a Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year, and which has been adapted for the stage and film; American Falls: The Collected Short Stories and The Rooster Trapped in the Reptile Room: A Barry Gifford Reader.