In regular life, Bich Minh Nguyen often goes by the name Beth. She is the author of three books, all with Viking Penguin. Short Girls, a novel, was an American Book Award winner in fiction and and a Library Journal best book of the year. Stealing Buddha's Dinner, a memoir, received the PEN/Jerard Award from the PEN American Center and was a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year and a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book. Stealing Buddha's Dinner has been featured as a common read selection within numerous communities and universities, including the all-state Great Michigan Read. Nguyen's work has also appeared in publications including The New York Times and the FOUND Magazine anthology. Her most recent novel is Pioneer Girl.

Nguyen received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and has taught fiction and creative nonfiction in the MFA Program at Purdue University and the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco. She has also coedited three anthologies: 30/30: Thirty American Stories from the Last Thirty Years (Penguin Academic); Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: I & Eye (Longman); and The Contemporary American Short Story (Longman). She and her family recently moved to the Bay Area.

A note on pronunciation: Bich is pronounced like "Bic"; Nguyen, the Smith of Viet Nam, is pronounced something like Ngoo-ee-ehn (said quickly, as in one syllable), but most people tend to say "Win" or "New-IN" instead.