Helon Habila was born in Kaltungo, Gombe State and educated at the University of Jos and University of East Anglia, England. He teaches Creative Writing at the George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia in the USA where he lives with his family.
His first book Waiting for an Angel was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize for New Writing (African Region 2003) and the Caine Prize (2001). In 2000 he won the MUSON Poetry Prize. He was the first Chinua Achebe Fellow at Bard College (2005), a William B Quarton fellow at the University of Iowa International Writing Programme and the John Farrar Fellow in Fiction at the 2003 Bread Loaf Writers. He co-edited the British Council's New Writing 14 with Lavinia Greenlaw. Measuring Time is his second novel.