Born: Oct. 17, 1950, in Norwich, Conn.

Family: Wife Christina, 58, and children Jared, 27; Justin, 23, and Teddy, 18.

Education: B.A. and M.A. from University of Connecticut, MFA from Vermont College.

Previous books: "She's Come Undone," 1992, and "I Know This Much Is True," 1998. Lamb also edited and introduced two anthologies of writings by female prisoners: "Couldn't Keep It to Myself," 2003, and "I'll Fly Away," 2007.

Recent movie he liked: "Rachel Getting Married."

Artists he admires: Amedeo Modigliani, Rene Magritte, Edward Hopper.

Favorite writers: Mark Twain, Richard Russo, Anne Tyler, Andre Dubus, Gabriel García Marquez.

Music he wrote by: Lamb has posted an annotated playlist of music that inspired him while he was writing the new book. Link to it at startribune.com/entertainment.

Undead characters: Both Dolores Price, the heroine of "She's Come Undone," and the Birdsey twins from "I Know This Much Is True" make cameo appearances in Lamb's new book.

Brushes with fame: Twice picked for Oprah's Book Club and interviewed by Oprah. Interviewed in a segment on "60 Minutes" about an attempt by the state of Connecticut to stop publication of the prison-writing anthologies Lamb edited. Championed by controversial editor/publisher Judith Regan, first at Simon & Schuster, later at ReganBooks. Met with Reese Witherspoon about the possibility of her playing Dolores in the movie version of "She's Come Undone."