Ana Grouverman

Sverdlovsk, USSR: I was born. Before I could read, I opened books and read from my imagination.

Yekaterinburg, Russia: Everything changed, and we left.

Tsukuba, Japan: I went to an international elementary school of ten students and two teachers, surrounded by rice paddies and the double-peaks of Tsukuba Mountain. My chief mode of transportation was a bicycle. Occasionally, people in the street got startled when they saw me.

Yokohama, Japan: I went to middle school. Our school building sat on a historic hill overlooking the bay, Motomachi street, and an ancient cemetery for foreigners. I went to Tokyo every week for piano lessons at the Russian embassy. We dressed up as Harajuku girls, for fun.

Raleigh, NC: I went to high school. I was excited about being in the South, but upon moving there, did not like it. Hollywood is terribly unfair in setting expectations about the United States.

Washington, DC: I studied international politics at Georgetown University. But, I realized eventually that I'd rather make peace than war.

New York City: After all this time, I still think that the most compelling activity in life is telling a story. I'm working on becoming a writer, and I maintain a rambling blog at http://www.lyricstomylife.com.