Jaroslav Kalfar was born and raised in Prague, Czech Republic, and immigrated to the United States at the age of fifteen, speaking little to no English at that time but learning it by watching Cartoon Network. He graduated from University of Central Florida, where he received Frances R. Lefkowitz Scholarship, the Outstanding Fiction Writer award, and the Founder’s Scholar Award for being the top graduate in the College of Arts and Humanities. He earned his M.F.A. at NYU, where he was a Goldwater Fellow and was one of the three nominees for the new NYU E.L. Doctorow Fellowship Award upon graduating. He is twenty-seven years old.