An American fiction writer, he is particularly known for his bestselling 1997 novel, Memoirs of a Geisha. The novel was adapted into an Academy Award-winning feature film in the first decade of the 21st Century.
He spent a summer at Peking University in Beijing, China and also worked in Tokyo, Japan.
He wrote Memoirs of a Geisha over a six-year period.
He was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He married Trudy Legee in 1982.
His novel, Memoirs of a Geisha, was made into a feature film starring Ken Watanabe.