Alison Wong was born and raised in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, after her great grandparents on both sides migrated from China's Guangdong province in the 1890s. She studied mathematics at Victoria University in Wellington, worked in IT, and spent several years in China. In 1996 she held a Reader's Digest NZ Society of Authors Fellowship in the Stout Research Centre, and in 2002 the Robert Burns Fellowship at Otago University. Her poetry collection, Cup, was shortlisted for the Best First Book for Poetry at the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards and her poetry was selected for Best New Zealand Poems 2006 and 2007. As the Earth Turns Silver, her first novel, was published internationally in 2009. It was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, shortlisted for the Australian Prime Minister's Award and won the NZ Post Book Award for Fiction. Alison lives with her family in Geelong.