Susan Atefat Peckham (1970-2004), author of That Kind of Sleep, was born in New York to Iranian immigrant parents. She received a B.S. in biology and chemistry, a M.A. in English from Baylor University, and a Ph.D. from University of Nebraska. She taught at Hope College. She also studied piano at the Geneva Conservatory in Switzerland and was a volunteer for Caritas, Habitat for Humanity, and the United Way.