Lori L. Tharps is a graduate of Smith College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She spent more than a decade as a magazine professional working on staff at both Vibe and Entertainment Weekly and freelancing for publications such as Essence, Suede and Vibe Vixen, and Tharps’ recent work can be seen in the Columbia Journalism Review, Ebony.com, Grid Philadelphia, and Vogue Black. She is also the author of two critically acclaimed nonfiction books, Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America (St. Martin’s) and Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain (Atria). Both The Washington Post and Salon.com declared Kinky Gazpacho one of the best books of 2008. Tharps also published a novel, Substitute Me (Atria). In February 2014, St. Martin’s Press released an updated version of Hair Story. Tharps lives in Philadelphia with her husband and three children.