Han Dong was born in 1961 in Nanjing, China. His parents were banished to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution, taking him with them. When the Cultural Revolution ended, he studied philosophy at Shandong University, graduating in 1982. Han Dong has been a major player on the modern Chinese literary scene since the 1990s, and his first novel Banished! (2003) was translated into English in 2009.