CARA HOFFMAN grew up in an economically depressed town in upstate New York. She dropped out of high school, bought a one-way ticket to London with her savings, and spent the next three years working under-the-table jobs in Europe and the Middle East. In the 1990s, she returned to the United States, became a mother, and began working as an investigative reporter at a daily newspaper. Hoffman covered New York State’s rural and rust-belt communities for over a decade, reporting on environmental politics, county legislatures and crime. In 2000, she received a New York State Foundation for the Art Fellowship for her writing on the aesthetics of violence and its impact on children. She is at work on her next novel called BE SAFE I LOVE YOU, about a young woman who has recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq.