Julie Orringer is a member of the board of directors of the MacDowell Colony, a writer, and lecturer. Her first book, How to Breathe Underwater, was published in September 2003 by Knopf Publishing Group. She is a graduate of Cornell University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney's, Ploughshares, Zoetrope: All-Story, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Best New American Voices, and The Best American Non-Required Reading. She received the Paris Review's Discovery Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, the Yale Review Editors' Prize, Ploughshares' Cohen Award, the Northern California Book Award, and the Anne and Robert Cowan Award from the Jewish Community Endowment Fund. She was the recipient of a 2004–5 NEA grant for her current project, a novel set in Budapest and Paris before and during World War II. This novel, entitled The Invisible Bridge, was published by Knopf in May 2010. The novel is based on the experiences of her family in the Holocaust and World War II, including those of her grand-uncle Alfred Tibor, who later became a well-known sculptor.