Mark Smith was born in Charlevoix, Michigan in 1935, grew up in Chicago, and graduated from Northwestern University in 1960 with an A.B. in English. He has since lived chiefly in Maine, and is emeritus professor of English at the University of New Hampshire. He has received grants and fellowships for fiction from the Rockefeller, Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill and Fulbright Foundations and the NEA, has served as an advisor to the Rockefeller, Mrs. Giles Whiting and the Lila Wallace Foundations, and has been a visiting writer and professor in residence at some dozen colleges and universities. He is best known for his novel, The Death of the Detective, an NBA finalist. Toyland was his first novel and was the runner-up for the Faulkner Award. He now lives in DeLand, Florida, writes poetry along with fiction, and summers in northern Portugal and Spain.