Wendy Law-Yone was born in Mandalay, Burma in 1947. Her father was the editor of the Rangoon Nation, the leading English language newspaper in Burma, and was imprisoned following the military coup in 1962 and later founded the Burmese government in exile in Thailand. Wendy moved to the USA in 1973 where she became a journalist, writing for the Washington Post among other publications. She wrote two novels during her time in America, The Coffin Tree (1983) and Irrawaddy Tango (1993), with the latter nominated in 1995 for the Irish Times Literary Prize. In 2002 she received a David T. K. Wong Fellowship from the University of East Anglia.