Karen Engelmann was born and raised in the American Midwest, then moved to Sweden after completing university studies in drawing and design. The city of Malmö was home base for eight years, where she began her working life as a coat check girl and spotlight operator at Club Trocadero,then went on to work as an illustrator at daily newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet and at IKEA as an art director. New York City was next, where she continued working in design. Writing eventually took over. She now lives just north of New York City with her husband and two daughters. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in Vermont. The Stockholm Octavo is her first novel.