1957 – Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
1978 – He graduated from Harvard College with a degree in art history, specializing in Japanese art.
1980 – He earned his master's degree in Japanese history from Columbia University, where he also learned Mandarin Chinese.
1988 - He received an M.A. in English from Boston University.
1989 - He lived and worked in Japan, and since that time has been teaching writing and literature in the Boston area.
1997 – He published novel Memoirs of a Geisha, which became a national bestseller and received high critical acclaim.
2007 - He now resides in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife and children.
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