Andrea Hairston is the Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Afro-American Studies at Smith College. She is the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre and has created original productions with music, dance, and masks for over thirty years. Her plays have been produced at Yale Rep, Rites and Reason, the Kennedy Center, StageWest, and on Public Radio and Television. She has translated plays by Michael Ende and Kaca Celan from German to English. Ms. Hairston has received many playwriting and directing awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Grant to Playwrights, a Rockefeller/NEA Grant for New Works, an NEA grant to work as dramaturge/director with playwright Pearl Cleage, a Ford Foundation Grant to collaborate with Senegalese Master Drummer Massamba Diop, and a Shubert Fellowship for Playwriting. Since 1997, her plays produced by Chrysalis Theatre, Soul Repairs, Lonely Stardust, Hummingbird Flying Backward, and Dispatches have been science fiction. Archangels of Funk, a sci-fi theatre jam, garnered her a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for 2003.

Ms. Hairston's first novel, Mindscape (Aqueduct, 2006), won the Carl Brandon Parallax Award and was a Phillip K. Dick and Tiptree finalist. Her second, Redwood and Wildfire (Aqueduct, 2011), won the Tiptree. A story, "Griots of the Galaxy," appears in So Long Been Dreaming (Hopkinson and Mehan, eds.).

Her essays include "Octavia Butler—Praise Song to a Prophetic Artist," in Daughters of Earth (Larbalestier, ed.), "Driving Mr. Lenny: Notes on Race and Gender as a Transport to Another Reality, Another Dimension" in Foundation, and pieces (often on sf media) for Narrative Power (Duchamp, ed.), The WisCon Chronicles: Volume 4 (Kelso, ed.), Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and elsewhere. In 2011, Ms. Hairston received the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts Distinguished Scholarship Award for outstanding contributions to the scholarship and criticism of the fantastic.