Uzodinma (Uzo) Iweala is the author of Beasts of No Nation. The novel, his debut, came out of his undergraduate thesis work at Harvard and was conducted under the supervision of writer Jamaica Kincaid. Iweala, born in 1982, hails from Washington, D.C. and Nigeria. Beasts of No Nation, which depicts a child soldier in an unnamed African country,was published in 2005 to considerable critical acclaim. In 2007, Iweala was named one of Granta magazine's 20 best young American novelists. Iweala's mother, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is the former Finance Minister and Foreign Minister of Nigeria. Iweala is now a medical student at Columbia University.